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Turkish bombardment in Duhok areas continues

Shkoi Kurdistan-

Pro-Turkey militants carried out fresh attacks on Friday against the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Ain Issa, with several civilian casualties reported by local outlets. 

SDF forces in villages surrounding the town came under repeated attack from Thursday to Friday evening, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

The UK-based war monitor added that the militants were backed by Turkish intensive artillery fire when attacking villages of Jahbal and Mushayrifah, east of Ain Issa, but were unable to advance.

Two civilians were killed in the clashes, according to SDF-affiliated North Press Agency (NPA), which reported heavy Turkish artillery fire. SOHR also reported an unspecified number of “human losses.”

SDF snipers foiled infiltration attempts by the militants into both villages, according to Hawar News Agency (ANHA).    

Ain Issa is located to the east of Euphrates River, at a junction that connects many cities in northeast Syria, and has been a focal point of recent clashes. 

Residents of villages surrounding Ain Issa have previously said their fears of a Turkish attack, sleeping in deserted areas at night in case of renewed fighting.

Turkey’s proxies in northern Syria have been bombarding the strategic town in Raqqa province for months, but have been unable to make any advances. 

There have been reports about Russia’s attempts to persuade the SDF to hand over the town to the regime forces to stop Turkish attacks – a suggestion refused by the SDF.

Amina Omar, co-chair of Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) – the political arm of the SDF – said on Friday that “Russia pressures the SDF to push it to hand over Ain Issa to Damascus.” 

Russians are present in the town but have beenslammed by Kurdish officials and locals for their “indifference” against regular attacks from Turkish proxies.

Omar added that Ankara’s aim in the attacks is to “separate different parts of northeast Syria from each other.”

Turkey and its proxies control stretches of northern Syria, including parts of Aleppo and Idlib provinces, and a so-called “safe zone” between Sari Kani (Ras al-Ain) and Gire Spi (Tel Abyad) in northeast Syria – taken by Ankara’s proxies after Operation Peace Spring, which displaced hundreds of thousands of civilians last October.  

Ankara has evacuated seven of its observation posts in Idlib province – where the regime is dominant – to areas under its control, an unnamed Turkish official told Reuters on Friday. 

“It is not in the form of troop withdrawal or reducing their numbers. The situation is just about changing location,” the source said.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned late October that his troops will launch fresh attacks if SDF forces do not withdraw from the Turkey-Syria border.

“Again, I repeat that if the promises are not fulfilled, we have legitimate cause to act whenever we need to eliminate all terrorists from the areas we have identified.”

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