Eight Turkish-backed militiamen killed in retaliatory SDF attack
ERBIL (Kurdistan Region) – Eight Turkish-backed fighters were killed and nine injured when the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) retaliated to two attacks by Turkish-backed forces near Ain Issa, the group’s press center said on Friday.
According to the SDF statement, heavy clashes erupted between the SDF and Turkish-backed groups near the Al Mushairfa village, northeast of Ain Issa, and Sida village, north of Ain Issa, after the Turkish-backed groups allegedly attacked the Kurdish-led forces.
The SDF also targeted a gathering of Turkish-backed groups near Skero village northeast of Ain Issa.
The SDF accused the Turkish Army and Turkish-backed groups of bombarding “the villages and M4 international road with artillery and tanks, causing material damage to farms and civilian properties.”
“As a result of the clashes on the two mentioned villages, it was confirmed that 8 of the mercenaries were killed and 9 others were wounded,” the statement read.
The clashes came amidst growing tensions between the SDF and these groups, which have occupied parts of northeast Syria since Turkey’s October 2019 incursion.
On Oct. 19, 2019, after the Turkish military launched Operation “Peace Spring” to confront Kurdish elements of the SDF in Hasakah province, the US mediated a ceasefire agreement between Turkey and the SDF. A second deal brokered by Russia followed on Oct. 22.
Despite these agreements and Turkey’s ongoing occupation of the the border areas of Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain (Serekaniye), affiliated Syrian armed groups and the Turkish Army continue to target SDF-held areas.