US and Turkish-backed militants come under fire in Syria’s Idlib and Hasakah
The shelling comes just days after Ankara warned it is preparing further military action in Syria's northern regions
By News Desk - October 16 2021

Smoke rises from an alleged Sham Liberation Army stronghold in Syria’s al-Hasakah governorate. (Photo credit: Twitter)

On 16 October, Syrian government forces, with the help of Russian warplanes, launched missile strikes on strongholds of the Turkish-backed Sham Liberation Army (SLA) in the city of Sarmada in Idlib governorate, reportedly killing at least two leaders of the armed opposition militia.

Saturday’s bombardment came on the heels of an attack on military positions of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) by local popular committees in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah governorate, which left several SDF militants dead.

The popular committees reportedly attacked the SDF positions with US-made BGM-71 TOW anti-tank missiles.

Following the attacks, Hasakah’s Governor Ghassan Khalil said in an interview that the oil-rich region will soon be under the complete control of the Syrian government.

“There will be no American military bases or even a foothold for Americans in Syria, and all areas will be under the control of the Syrian government,” Khalil said.

The official went on to add: “It was the Syrian government that armed the Syrian Kurds at the beginning of the imposed war against the country to defend their territories and protect themselves from terrorist attacks, but unfortunately they turned their backs on the central government and used the weapons against the Syrian army, facilitating the entry of the American occupiers into Syrian territory.”

These latest developments come as part of a renewed push by Damascus and Moscow to retake control of Syria’s resource-rich northern regions from the grip of US-backed armed groups.

Meanwhile, Turkey has also warned it is planning new military action against Kurdish militias in Syria’s north if talks with the United States and Russia reach a dead-end.

“It is essential that the areas, notably the Tel Rifaat region from which attacks are constantly carried out against us, are cleansed,” a Turkish senior official told Reuters.

Ankara’s warning comes in response to recent attacks against its troops in Syria’s Idlib governorate, allegedly carried out by Kurdish militias.

On 15 October, two Turkish soldiers were killed by a roadside bomb targeting a military convoy in Idlib’s countryside, the second such attack on Turkish forces in less than a week.

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