Turkish strike on northern Syria injures seven, including five children

Turkish strike on northern Syria injures seven, including five children
2 min read
05 August, 2022
The Turkish strike on the northern Syrian city of Tel Rifaat left one of the children critically injured.
The injured children were between six and 16 years old [Getty]

At least seven civilians, including five children, were injured by a Turkish drone strike in northern Syria on Thursday.

The drone targeted the city of Tel Rifaat, which is controlled by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). The children injured were between six and 16 years old, activist Ahmed al-Ibrahim told The New Arab's Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed.

One of the children was critically injured.

Most of the children were from families displaced to Tel Rifaat, which is located in the northern Syrian province of Aleppo, from other parts of Syria.

The critically injured child was transferred to a hospital in the city of Aleppo for treatment, Ibrahim said.

Perspectives

The strike comes after Turkish threats of a military operation in Syria against the SDF, which the Turkish government has said could begin "at any time".

Ankara says that Kurdish armed groups in Syria which make up the backbone of the SDF are front groups for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has fought an insurgency against the Turkish state since the 1980s and is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the European Union.

However, following Turkish threats, the Syrian regime fortified positions in SDF-held areas located across northern and north-eastern Syria to prepare for "any possible aggression".

Four Syrian-Kurdish officers were killed last week in a Turkish drone strike in northern Syria, the SDF said.

Syrian regime ally Russia recently called upon the Assad regime and Syrian Kurdish officials to work together to fight against Turkish-backed forces, which the SDF indicated it could do if Turkey follows through on its threats.

However, ahead of a meeting between Russian President Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Moscow said on Friday that Turkey has legitimate security concerns over Syria and that it will take them into account.

Syria has been wracked by conflict since the regime brutally cracked down on pro-democracy protesters in 2011.

Over 500,000 people have been killed throughout the conflict, which has become complex and multi-faceted, involving foreign countries, proxy militias, and Islamist extremists.

Eleven million Syrians have also been displaced from their homes.