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Turkish forces, allied militants shell villages in Syria’s Hasakah: Report

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
In this file picture, a Turkish military convoy is seen at the northern town of Sarmada, in Idlib province, Syria. (Photo by AP)

Turkish military forces allied Takfiri militants have reportedly shelled residential areas in the countryside of Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, as the threat of a new Turkish military incursion into the neighboring Arab country looms.

Syria’s official news agency SANA, citing local sources speaking on condition of anonymity, reported that Turkish troops and their allies stationed in the towns of Aniq al-Hawa and Dawoudiyah struck the villages of al-Rbeiaat and Um Harmala in the Tal Abu Rasin district on Tuesday. 

The sources added that the strikes caused material damage to residential buildings and private properties.

The development took place days after at least two militants affiliated with the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were killed and several others injured as the Turkish military carried out a string of fresh airstrikes against the positions of the militant group in Syria’s northern provinces of Hasakah and Raqqah.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human rights reported that a Turkish combat drone struck a vehicle on Sunday as it was traveling along a road on the outskirts of Qamishli city in Hasakah province.

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A high-profile militant affiliated with the US-sponsored and Kurdish-led SDF and his driver were killed in the attack, while three others sustained injuries.

An SDF militant was also killed and two others were seriously wounded when a Turkish drone targeted an area east of Ayn Issa town in the Tal Abyad district of Syria’s northern province of Raqqah.

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 members of the YPG, which forms the backbone of the SDF, 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.

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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.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has already stated that a new Turkish operation against the YPG militants will remain on the agenda until security concerns are addressed.

Both Iran and Russia, which have been aiding Damascus in its anti-terror campaign, have warned Turkey against launching such an offensive.

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