Six civilians killed during attack by Turkish-backed forces in Manbij: report

The Manbij Military Council (MMC) on Monday said six civilians were killed when Turkish-backed forces bombed villages in the countryside of Manbij.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Manbij Military Council (MMC) on Monday said six civilians were killed when Turkish-backed forces bombed villages in the countryside of Manbij.

In a statement, the MMC said the bombings occurred in the villages of Qurt Wiran and Willanli, from the Turkish base in Sheikh Nasser and Awlashli village located to the northwest of the city of Manbij.

According to the statement, six civilians, including children and women, were killed while six other children were injured.

Meanwhile, on Monday, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said five people, including children, were killed and 10 others injured by shelling from a Turkish military base in the village of Sheikh Nasser.

The MMC, supported by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), liberated Manbij from the so-called Islamic State with American support in 2016 in one of the bloodiest campaigns Syria has witnessed against the terror group.

However, US forces left the town and other border regions in northern Syria in October 2019 after Turkey targeted the SDF-held towns of Tal Abyad and Serekaniye (Ras al-Ain).

In a deal Moscow brokered, the SDF invited Syrian forces to prevent a Turkish expansion. The deal paved the way for Russian and regime forces to enter Manbij.

After Turkey intervened in northeastern Syria in October 2019, Russia and the US reached separate ceasefire deals with Ankara that limited Turkish control of the area between Tal Abyad and Serikaniye. 

Despite these agreements, Turkish-backed groups and the Turkish army continue to periodically target SDF-held areas in which civilians are killed.

In late June, three Kurdish women’s rights activists were killed by a Turkish drone strike in the city of Kobani.

Turkish-backed groups from Al-Bab and Jarabulus often shell Manbij in which civilians near the frontlines are either injured or killed.

For instance, on Feb. 16, one civilian was killed and another injured after Turkish-backed groups shelled the countryside of Manbij. Also, on May 19, one civilian was injured and civilian homes destroyed when six shells fell on the Arab Hassan village close to the frontline.

Moreover, car and booby-trapped motorcycle bombings in Turkish-controlled areas such as Afrin, Ras al-Ain, and Tal Abyad have also killed civilians.

On July 26, eight civilians, including women and children, were killed by an explosion in Ras al-Ain, the local pro-Syrian government SANA news agency reported.

On Monday, the US Embassy in Syria condemned the Ras al-Ain bombing.

“There’s no justification for attacks on civilians. This violence must stop,” the embassy said in a tweet.

On June 23, the US State Department also expressed sympathies for civilians killed and injured during a bombing in Turkish-occupied Tel Halaf and the alleged Turkish airstrike in Kobani that killed three female activists.

The UN Special Envoy for Syria has called on all parties in the conflict to avoid civilian harm and appealed to both local and international stakeholders “to exercise restraint and uphold existing arrangements that have provided calm throughout this year.”

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany