Middle East News

Syria: Turkish warplanes bomb SDF positions south of Jarablus; heavy ground fighting reported

Turkish military planes bombed SDF positions south of Jarablus, Syria on Saturday morning, and heavy ground clashes have been reported

Turkish military planes bombed Syrian Democratic Forces positions south of Jarablus, Syria on Saturday morning, military sources confirmed to CNN Türk.

According to Reuters, Turkish military sources said planes had hit an ammunition store.

The SDF supported Jarablus Military Council said jets bombed al-Amarna (or Amarinah) village causing civilian casualties and called the strikes “a dangerous escalation that threatens the fate of the region.” It warned the Turkish army that it would defend its territory, adding that “Coalition powers also see it appropriate for our forces to respond to these attacks.”

https://twitter.com/AylinaKilic/status/769507912679059456

Turkey sent more tanks into Syria on Saturday morning to bolster its forces there, AFP reported.

According the Turkey-based pro-Kurd outlet ANF, Manbij Military Council sources said Turkish tanks attacked al-Amarna and Yusufbeg villages.

The London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkish air strikes and shelling hit al-Amarna village.

On August 25, Turkish Armed Forces shelled Syrian Democratic Forces positions in al-Amarna as part of its ongoing Operation Euphrates Shield incursion into Syria, claiming that it had attacked Kurdish units there. The Kurdish YPG said its fighters had gone back to bases on the east side of the Euphrates river.

https://twitter.com/AylinaKilic/status/769521565834895360

Heavy clashes on the ground between Turkey-backed FSA groups and SDF units have been reported.

Faylaq al-Sham, a Turkish-backed alliance of Islamist groups in the FSA, said on Twitter that its fighters had killed SDF members in the area.

Manbij Military Council, the US-supported alliance that liberated Manbij from Islamic State, said it was “ready to support Jarablus Military Council against Turkey’s occupation,” Syrian pro-Kurd news agency ANHA reported.

Jaysh al-Thuwar, the largest group in the US-backed Syrian Arab Coalition element of the SDF, said it would not allow Turkish occupation of villages liberated from IS. Shams ash-Shamal (the Northern Sun battalion), an SAC unit under the Jaysh al-Thuwar umbrella said it was moving to the Jarablus front to support Jarablus Military Council to counter threats from Turkey-backed FSA groups.

The fighting comes as FSA groups pushed west of Jarablus, capturing several towns from Islamic State.

Meanwhile, Kurdish sources reported the formation of seven more Self-Defence Forces (HPC) batallions in Efrin canton, the Kurd-controlled enclave to the west of Manbij,. This suggests that frontline troops are being mobilised in the area and are being replaced by the HPC. The Kurdish YPG reported attacks by Turkey and FSA groups in Efrin, but this has not been confirmed.

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