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The New Arab

10 Kurdish fighters killed in Turkish shelling in Syria as clashes resume

Turkish-backed fighters have clashed with the Kurdish-led SDF [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 December, 2019

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10 fighters from the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have been killed in a Turkish artillery bombardment near Azaz in northern Syria.
At least 10 members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) militia were killed on Saturday after being targeted by Turkish artillery bombardment in northern Syria.

The Syrian news website Bawabat Halab quoted a member of the Turkish-allied “Syrian National Army” (SNA) as saying that Turkish forces on Mount Barsa, north of the city of Azaz, fired rockets and shells at the SDF fighters.

Mount Barsa was captured by Turkey and its SNA allies from Kurdish forces during the “Operation Olive Branch” military operation in January 2018.

The SNA source said that Turkish forces had bombed the SDF fighters after they had been spotted preparing for an attack on an area held by the Syrian National Army northwest of Aleppo.

Read also: US Senate Committee approves Turkey sanctions bill

SDF fighters are present in Aleppo province alongside Syrian regime troops in the area around the town of Tal Rifat. Clashes between the SDF and SNA also took place near Al-Bab in Aleppo province.

In northeastern Syria fighting broke out between the SNA and the SDF in Raqqa province after a four day lull.

Local sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language service that the SNA had attacked SDF position near Ain Issa in Raqqa province, leading to fierce clashes.

Fighting also took place in several villages in Hassakeh province in northeastern Syria.

In October, Turkey launched an invasion to capture areas in northeastern Syria near the Turkish-Syrian border from the Kurdish-led SDF. The fighting ended with a Russian-Turkish agreement which stipulated that SDF forces leave the border area.

However, sporadic clashes between the SDF and the Turkish-backed SNA have continued. On 3 December, 12 civilians were killed in a SDF mortar attack on Azaz.

The recent four day lull in fighting coincided with an agreement to open the vital M4 road from Hassakeh to Aleppo under Syrian regime supervision.

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