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Turkish Artillery Shells Town in Syria’s Raqqa, Civilian Casualties Reported

13 March 2016 10:11



The Turkish Army’s artillery units continued to target concentration centers of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Kurdish “People’s Protection Units” (YPG) in a newly-captured town in the Northern part of Aleppo, leaving several civilians dead or wounded.

The Turkish artillery shelling of the Kurdish strongholds inside the town of Tal Abyadh near border with Turkey ended in the killing or wounding of several civilians.

Reports said on Friday that deployment of a large number of ready-to-fight forces only 40 kilometers from Raqqa and 60 kilometers from Deir Ezzur has enabled the Kurdish fighters to capture the two key cities in rapid large-scale operations in the near future.

“The SDF and YPG have kept advancing almost daily towards Raqqa and Deir Ezzur cities from the North while government troops are pressing on from the West,” the sources said.

The YPG Kurds have recently bonded with the Damascus government. The Syrian army sent several arms cargoes to the YPG troops in the Northeastern province of Hasaka and trained the first group of Kurdish volunteer forces in the provincial capital city of Hasaka last month.

The SDF that is comprised of mainly Kurdish fighters as well as a few hundred Syrian Arab dissident forces have received trainings from the US and have been provided with scanty US-coalition air support in their battles in Raqqa province in Northeastern Syria; but in Northern and Northwestern battlefronts, they have been operating alongside the YPG and received the Russian air backup in their Aleppo wars that started with the conquest of Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates early in February.

Assisted by the Syrian army – that has along with popular forces and Hezbollah conquered almost all militant-held regions in Eastern, Southern, Western and Northwestern Aleppo province – and Russian air support, the Kurdish forces fighting against the terrorists in North-Northeast Aleppo province have been making striking advances against the Al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and ISIL terrorists in February.

In February, the YPG and SDF fighters prevailed over the terrorists in the highly strategic city of Tal Rifat in Northern Aleppo and captured the city.

The YPG, who enjoyed the Russian air backup, prevailed the terrorists’ positions from the Western direction and shook hand with the Kurdish units of the SDF who entered the town from the North.

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