In Al-Bab, a site controlled by pro-Ankara Syrian factions, near the Syrian-Turkish border, where “artillery fire by pro-regime forces at a market killed 17 civilians, including 6 children,” according to the OSDH, August 19, 2022 SYRIAN CIVIL DEFENSE WHITE HELMETS / AP
Clashes between forces loyal to the Syrian regime and the Turkish army continue in northern Syria and continue to claim casualties. At least twenty-one civilians, including children, were killed on Friday, August 19.
Before dawn on Friday, a Turkish drone strike hit “a center for underage girls” in the village of Chmouka near Hassaké in northeastern Syria, killing “four children and [en] 11 wounded,” said the Kurdish Autonomous Administration. The report was confirmed by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), which said the children were sleeping at the center in Hassaké, a town in the Kurdish Autonomous Region.
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In Al-Bab, a town near the Syrian-Turkish border controlled by pro-Ankara Syrian factions, “artillery fire from pro-regime forces at a market” killed seventeen civilians, including six children, according to the OSDH. In addition, 35 people were injured.
Farhad Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the Kurdish-dominated armed coalition, said his forces had “nothing to do” with the shooting at al-Bab.
Several Turkish offensives
Turkey, a neighbor of Syria, is stationing troops near its border with Syria with the support of Syrian rebel groups linked to it. Turkish soldiers have conducted several offensives against Syrian Kurdish forces that control most of the north-east of the country.
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Since May, Ankara has been threatening a major offensive against the FDS, which Ankara classifies as “terrorists”. According to the OSDH and Kurdish officials, Turkish drones have been hitting areas controlled by the SDF with increasing frequency since July.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was quoted by Turkish media on Friday as saying his country had “no views” on Syrian territory. He added that he wanted to take “new steps” with the regime in Damascus, believing that improving bilateral relations would contribute to peace in the region.