At least one civilian has been killed and several others sustained injuries when Turkish military forces struck areas controlled by militants affiliated with the Kurdish-led and so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah.
Local sources, who asked not to be named, told Syria’s official news agency SANA that Turkish artillery units shelled the village of al-Salmasa, which lies in the western Tell Tamer district of the province, on Tuesday.
The sources added that an internally displaced person from the village of al-Sibatiyah, which is occupied by Turkish-backed Takfiri militants, lost his life as a result.
Later on, a Turkish unmanned aerial vehicle fired two missiles at al-Mahmakia and al-Hizam al-Gharbi neighborhoods of the predominantly Kurdish populated city of Qamishli, causing damage to residential buildings and public infrastructure.
Turkish troops then renewed shelling Qamishli. Two shells fell on Qanat al-Suweis neighborhood, injuring three children and as many women.
Material damage was also reported in the nearby villages of Tal Ziwan, Tal al-Shu’eer, and Secrca when artillery rounds hit the areas.
The developments came a day after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan hinted at his country’s plan for a new cross-border operation in neighboring Syria to remove members of the US-backed Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militant group, which is the backbone of the SDF.
“We will continue our fight against terrorism. Our decision to establish a 30-kilometer-deep (18.6-mile) secure line along our southern border is final,” Erdogan said in an address to Turkish diplomats attending the 13th Ambassadors Conference in the capital Ankara on Monday.
Last month, Erdogan stated that a new Turkish operation against the YPG militants will remain on the agenda until security concerns are addressed.
Back on May 23, Erdogan signaled a new Turkish cross-border operation in northern Syria with the declared aim of creating a 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) wide safe zone along Turkey’s border with Syria.
He said the operation would be launched as soon as military, intelligence, and security forces have completed their preparations, without providing further details.
Both Iran and Russia, which have been aiding Damascus in its anti-terror campaign, have warned Turkey against launching such an offensive.
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.
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