Turkish artillery targets Aleppo district in Syria
Turkish artillery targets the center of the city of Tal Rifaat in the countryside of Aleppo as well as a small village under the pretense of protecting its national security.
Turkish artillery targeted the center of the city of Tal Rifaat in the northern countryside of Aleppo as well as the village of Abyan in the Tel Rifaat Friday, leaving behind vast material damage.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a UK-based opposition center, stated that, on Thursday night, the Turkish forces targeted areas in the city of Tal Rifaat in the northern countryside of Aleppo, which includes a Russian military base. The shelling targeted the Kurdish forces’ deployment areas in the vicinity of Mara’ and Mara’anaz, north of Aleppo.
The SOHR stated that "the Sheikh Issa axis witnessed mutual targeting with medium and heavy machine guns, between the Kurdish forces on one side and the Turkish-backed factions on the other." Syrian border villages and towns are always subjected to artillery and missile bombardment by Turkish forces.
The town of Tal Rifaat, located 35 kilometers north of the Syrian city of Aleppo, is under threat of a Turkish invasion in a possible new military offensive, especially after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s statements, on June 1, about the possibility of attacking the cities of Tal Rifaat and Manbij under the pretext of “protection” of the Turkish national security.
"A shameful act of aggression"
An official source in the Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates asserted "Syria's right, under international law, to confront any measures taken by Erdogan’s regime and its terrorist organizations," urging "all illegal foreign forces to leave Syrian territory."
“Establishing a so-called safe zone on Syrian territory is a shameful act of aggression and part of Erdogan's policy of ethnic and geographical cleansing in the occupied Syrian territories, which amounts to a crime against humanity," it added.
Syria "holds responsible every party that illegally operates outside the framework of the Syrian state and its institutions," the source said.
TASS news agency reported on Thursday, quoting Russia's special envoy to Syria, Alexander Lavrentiev, that Russia had tried to persuade Turkey to cancel plans for a military operation in Syria during talks in Kazakhstan.
"We tried to convince them that the matter should be resolved through peaceful means without resorting to violence because this could lead to an escalation," said Lavrentiev.
Moscow has spoken out against Turkey's operation in the Raqqa province, as the strategic M4 Highway passes through the area. Russia's criticism, alongside discussions between Ankara and Moscow, prompted Turkey to drop the preparations for an operation in the area, while Russia bolstered its military presence there, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet said.