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Turkey bombs SDF sites in Ain Issa first time in 17 months: monitor

  2021-03-21  | 
 Zhyan News Network
Turkey bombs Ain Issa on December 18,2020. Photo by ANHA
 Zhyan News Network

SULAIMANI – Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Saturday (March 20) that a Turkish fighter jet bombed the military positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Sayda village in Ain Issa sub-district countywide in northern Raqqa governorate.

It was the first airstrike by Turkey since the notorious  Operation Peace Spring by the Turkish warplanes in seventeen months, according to SOHR. 

Turkey and its Syrian proxies launched an operation in October 2019 to expel the SDF from northern Syria, but the operation interrupted after two accords negotiated by Ankara with first Washington, and then Moscow, allowed Turkey to seize control of a "safe zone" inside Syria around 120 kilometers long and 32 kilometers deep.

The aerial bombardment came at a time when the Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have failed to advance into the villages in the sub-district.

Clashes with medium and heavy weapons are still underway between SDF and Turkish-backed factions on Sayda and Mu’allaq frontlines in eastern Ain Issa, according to SOHR.

A child was killed and five other civilians were wounded in shelling by the Syrian rebels on Friday, according to head of SDF Pres and Public Affairs Office Mustafa Bali.

"Clashes between the two sides have been going on for the last 24 hours... Turkish forces have had difficulty advancing since the SDF destroyed a Turkish tank," the director of the SOHR, Rami Abdul Rahman, told AFP.

Turkey considers SDF or its main affiliate People's Protection Units (YPG) an offshoot to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey and has started an armed struggle for Kurds’ cultural rights since 1984.

The SDF has been an only ground force and ally to the US-led Coalition in the battle against Islamic State (ISIS).

(Zhyan English)