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Turkish forces shell two settlements near Syria’s Tell Tamer

On Monday, fierce clashes were reported in the area between units of the Syrian and Turkish military

MOSCOW, November 13. /TASS/. Turkish forces have opened fire on the settlements of Owaish and Dawodiya located on the outskirts of Tell Tamer (Tal Tamir) on Wednesday, the SANA news agency informed. There is no information so far on the casualties among the civilian population.

On Monday, fierce clashes were reported in the area between units of the Syrian and Turkish military. According to the al-Akhbar daily, Turkey is using drones to attack ground targets. The Syrian army is countering the attacks of the Turkish military with support of the members of the Kurdish and Assyrian militias.

The SANA agency also informs that on Tuesday, the Turkish forces occupied three villages on the outskirts of Tell Tamer after launching an attack with heavy weapons.

Earlier, SANA reported that the Syrian army is establishing defensive lines 40 km away from al-Hasakah to counter a potential advance of Turkish forces. The Syrian government forces entered the towns of Manbij, Kobane, al-Tabqah, Raqqa, Ayn Issa and Tell Tamer.

Turkish operation in Syria

On October 9, Turkey launched a military incursion into northern Syria, codenaming it Operation Peace Spring, with the Turkish Armed Forces and the Ankara-backed Free Syrian Army carrying it out. Erdogan’s military campaign kicked off with airstrikes on the positions of the previously US-backed Kurdish units. The Erdogan government claimed that its goal is to clear the border area of what it calls ‘terrorists’ (Turkey’s broad label of the Kurdish forces) and establish a 30 km-long buffer zone in Syria’s north, where over 3 million Syrian refugees in Turkey would resettle. Ankara’s incursion into Syria triggered an outcry in the region and across the world. The Syrian SANA news agency branded the operation as an act of aggression, while the international community condemned Erdogan’s military operation.

On October 22, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a memorandum on joint actions in northeastern Syria. According to the document, as of noon October 23, Russian military police and Syrian border guards started to monitor the withdrawal of Kurdish military formations to the depth of 30 km from the border. On the outcomes of the agreement, Ankara stated that it had suspended its large-scale military operation in the area. However, Turkey retains control over the territories where it plans to relocate Syrian refugees in the future.

The deadline for the Kurdish forces to withdraw expired on October 29. Turkey and Russia began joint patrolling in northeastern Syria on November 1.