On 17 August, a large amount of Turkish army reinforcements were spotted in the area adjacent to the Kurdish-dominated town of Kobani in Syria, pro-opposition media sources claimed.
Earlier at midnight, warnings were reportedly issued through the loudspeakers of mosques inside the Turkish border cities neighboring Jarabulus city. The warnings cautioned residents not to leave their homes, in preparation for a new operation in northern Syria, Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) claimed, citing local sources.
Jarabulus is a Syrian city that belongs to the Aleppo governorate, and has been under the de-facto control of the Turkish-sponsored militias since August 2016.
“The megaphone alerts coincided with heavy drones’ activity over several areas along the front-line of northern Syria, as Turkish troops are rapidly mobilizing in most of the border towns of Hasakah, Raqqah and Aleppo governorates,” the Syrian state-run agency said.
However, in a tweet, governor of the Turkish province Gaziantep, Davut Gul, denied reports of the Turkish operation against Syria that had circulated from the mosques: “Announcements made in mosques in Karkemish have exceeded their purpose, and there is no curfew … there is no situation outside of routine … A criminal case has been opened against the responsible officials.”
Karkamışta camilerde yapılan anonslar maksadını aşmış olup sokağa çıkma yasağı vb.bir durum olmadığı gibi rutinin dışında bir durum da söz konusu değildir.
Sorumlu kamu görevlileriyle ilgili soruşturma açılmıştır.
— Davut GÜL (@gul_davut) August 16, 2022
The Turkish artillery targeted multiple Kurdish-held areas in northern Aleppo, with no human losses reported, local sources said on 17 August.
Earlier on 16 August, the Turkish troops and the US-backed Kurdish fighters exchanged heavy shellfire in the northern Syrian border town of Kobani, leaving one civilian dead.
At the same time, Turkish warplanes struck a Syrian Arab Army (SAA) base positioned in Tal Jarqali village, 25 km to the west of Kobani, leaving at least 11 dead and eight others wounded.
With the massive air support of the US-led coalition, Kobani was restored by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) from the extremist group of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) at the start of 2015.
SAA forces have been stationed in Tal Jarqali since 2019, after a ceasefire agreement was reached between Russia and Turkey.
“The need to end the US and Turkish occupation in parts of the Syrian territory is inevitable in order to regain the state’s control and to restore the looted national resources”, The Syrian Defense Minister General Ali Abbas said during a speech on 16 August in the Moscow Conference on International Security.
Turkey has carried out several military operations in northern Syria since 2016, capturing hundreds of kilometers of territory and vowing to push some 30 km deep into the country.