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At least one killed: Turkish forces shell villages in Syria’s Hasakah

This picture shows the aftermath of Turkish shelling on a village in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah on July 24, 2022.

Turkish military forces have shelled a number of villages in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, leaving at least one civilian dead and several injured. 

Turkey's rockets and artillery rounds on Sunday hit areas on the outskirts of Tall Abu Rasin, which lies on the northern flank of the province, according to a report by Syria’s official news agency SANA.

The report added that the projectiles landed in the villages of Wedada Abdel, Umm Harmala, Matmura and al-Rabiat, leaving several civilians injured and a number of public and private properties damaged.

The attack comes after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday Ankara's plan for a new military offensive in northeast Syria against members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) will remain on the agenda until security concerns are addressed.

Last Tuesday, the Turkish president earned a rebuke for his push for the offensive from Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei in a bilateral meeting.

Ayatollah Khamenei told Erdogan that any Turkish offensive on Syria would be “detrimental” for the region and called for the issue to be resolved through dialogue between Ankara, Damascus, Moscow and Tehran.

Moscow has previously called on Ankara to “refrain” from an attack.

Back on May 23, Erdogan said Ankara aims to resume its efforts to create a 30-kilometer (19-mile) “safe zone” along its border with Syria, saying, “We will soon take new steps regarding the incomplete portions of the project we started on the 30km deep safe zone we established along our southern border."

The Turkish president did not provide further details but said the operation would begin after Turkey’s military, intelligence and security forces completed their preparations.

Turkey has deployed forces in Syria in violation of the Arab country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

Ankara-backed militants were deployed to northeastern Syria in October 2019 after Turkish military forces launched a long-threatened cross-border invasion in a declared attempt to push YPG fighters away from border areas.

Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials have said Damascus will respond through all legitimate means available to Turkey's ongoing ground offensive.

Syrian troops intercept US military convoy in Hasakah, force it to turn back

Meanwhile, Syrian army forces have intercepted and forced a US military convoy to retreat as it was attempting to pass through a village in Hasakah province.

SANA reported that the convoy of five armored vehicles had to turn around and head back in the directions it came from after Syrian government troops deployed at a checkpoint outside the village of Tal Dahab expelled it from the area on Tuesday.

The report added that a pickup truck belonging to US-sponsored and Kurdish-led militants from the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) was accompanying the US convoy.

The US military has stationed forces and equipment in northeastern Syria, with the Pentagon claiming that the deployment is aimed at preventing the oilfields in the area from falling into the hands of Daesh terrorists. 

Damascus, however, maintains the deployment is meant to plunder the country's rich mineral resources.

Former US president Donald Trump admitted on more than one occasion that American forces were in the Arab country for its oil.

After failing to oust the Syrian government through militant proxies and direct involvement in the conflict, the US government has stepped up its economic war on the Arab country.

In June 2020, the US enacted the so-called Caesar Act that imposed the toughest sanctions ever on Syria intending to choke off revenue sources for the government.

The sanctions have crippled the war-torn country’s economy by barring foreign companies from doing trade with Damascus. Syria says the real purpose of the measures is to put pressure on Syrians and their livelihoods.

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