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Turkey shells 19 settlements in northern Syria

At least 19 settlements in Syria’s Aleppo province were shelled by Turkish forces Monday.

According to the Firat News Agency, Turkish forces fired 545 shells. The shelling hit a Syrian forces outpost, killing three soldiers.

Five more Syrian government servicemen were killed on Sunday. Overall, Syrian forces lost a total of 22 servicemen since the beginning of Turkey’s Operation Claw-Sword. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) lost 35 fighters.

Earlier, the Syrian military command relocated forces and 20 armored vehicles to Aleppo in order to repel a potential Turkish attack. The government forces occupied positions in Manbij, Tell-Rifaat and Ayn-al-Arab districts, currently controlled by Kurdish forces.

Meanwhile, several convoys with weapons and ammunition were moved through the Bab al-Salam checkpoint to the Ankara-controlled security zone in northern Syria, according to Al Akhbar. Opposition sources told the newspaper that pro-Turkish militias deployed in Azaz, Jarabulus, and Al-Bab districts were put on high alert.

The news comes as the Syrian Democratic Forces have reached out to Russia with a request to mediate an agreement with the Syrian government to coordinate efforts in the country’s northeast.

“We (the SDF) have asked the representatives of Russia to initiate an agreement about a coordination of efforts [with the official government] in Damascus to protect our territory,” the SDF spokesman told the Al-Hadath television channel on Monday.

He said there was a meeting with Russian representatives where “they (Russians) delivered [to the SDF] Turkey’s conditions.” The SDF rejected the conditions, the spokesman said.

The SDF spokesman said, “Washington reaffirmed it doesn’t approve the military operation [by Turkish forces in the northeast of Syria], however, the US hasn’t made any serious moves” to settle the conflict.

Qatari Al-Jazeera channel reported on Monday night, quoting a Turkish government official, that this country considers the non-conduct of military operations in northern Syria dependent on the departure of Kurdish militias from these areas.

According to this report, Turkey has given a deadline to fulfill its conditions, otherwise, it will carry out ground operations in the cities of Manbij, Ayn al-Arab and Tal Rifat.

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