Turkey escalates airstrikes in northeast Syria

A Turkish fighter jet taking off to carry out airstrikes in northern Iraq - January 14, 2024 (Turkish Defense Ministry)

A Turkish fighter jet taking off to carry out airstrikes in northern Iraq - January 14, 2024 (Turkish Defense Ministry)

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Turkish drones targeted sites in northeast Syria controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) following a period of ongoing shelling and targeting in the region that lasted for days.

Hawar news agency, close to the SDF, reported that the Turkish army targeted the power station in the city of Qamishli, east of al-Hasakah governorate, today, Monday, January 15, marking the second targeting of the station within 24 hours.

Hours earlier, heavy weapon shelling targeted the grain silos in the village of Umm al-Keif, east of al-Hasakah, according to the Hawar agency.

On Sunday evening, a Turkish warplane targeted the al-Suwaydiya gas factory, bringing the total targeting of the station near the city of al-Malikiyah, east of al-Hasakah, to ten attacks, according to the agency.

The Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES), the political umbrella for the SDF, stated that the Turkish army targeted six electricity stations on Sunday, January 14.

It added that some stations were repeatedly targeted, such as the Kobani station, which was targeted twice, leading to power outages in the city and 400 surrounding villages, in addition to the Ain Issa station, resulting in a power outage in the district center and 150 surrounding villages.

The shelling of the power station in Qamishli led to a power outage for over 60% of the city and its eastern suburbs.

The Autonomous Administration added that the city of Amuda and 90 surrounding villages were cut off from electricity following the targeting of the power station in the same area, in addition to the towns of al-Derbasiyah, al-Qahtaniyah, and al-Malikiyah.

Hawar agency also reported aerial attacks on 56 locations controlled by the SDF, indicating that the attacks targeted infrastructure, service institutions, and the economy, resulting in five deaths among regime forces and the injury of six civilians, in addition to material losses.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense stated in a press release on Sunday, January 14, that it conducted aerial operations against targets of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in both Syria and Iraq, resulting in the destruction of 24 targets.

It noted that the destroyed targets were caves, shelters, ammunition depots, and natural gas production facilities.

Turkey accuses the SDF of being an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, listed on Turkish and American “terrorism lists,” and repeatedly targets sites and individuals in northeast Syria on charges of belonging to the PKK.

At the end of December 2023, Turkey launched an aerial campaign targeting various sites in the city of Ain al-Arab (Kobani), east of Aleppo, leaving casualties in response to the killing of 12 Turkish soldiers in Iraq, while the Autonomous Administration considered the aim of the attacks to be “to strike stability and create chaos.”

 

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