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Turkey Renews Shelling Refugee Populations in North Syria

The UK-based conflict monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported three civilians were killed and eleven wounded with injuries “of varying degrees.”

Turkey Renews Shelling Refugee Populations in North Syria
Turkey Renews Shelling Refugee Populations in North Syria

More than 22,000 people originally from the #Afrin region are living in Tal Rifaat, according to the Observatory. They moved there after fleeing their homes during Turkey’s Olive Branch military operation against Afrin launched in January 2018. Tal Rifaat is under the control of Kurdish forces, and Turkish and Russian personnel are also present in the area.

January 20 marked the third anniversary of the start of the Turkish military operation in the Kurdish-majority region of Afrin.

Turkey, with its affiliated armed opposition groups, announced their formal takeover of Afrin on March 18, 2018, after 58 days of heavy fighting with the forces defending the city and the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

The Turkish military operation in the Afrin region displaced more than 300,000 of its original inhabitants, according to the Human Rights Organization in Afrin, which confirmed in its annual proceeds that the percentage of Kurds in it does not exceed 23 percent.

On the 3rd of January 2021, The Human Rights Organization – Afrin revealed the outcome of the violations, killings, kidnappings, logging, and seizure of homes that the residents of Afrin have suffered during 2020.

The bombardment coincided with violent clashes between the armed groups and the Syrian government forces on Maranaz and Kaljibrin fronts, and no damages were recorded, according to the source.

Three civilians were killed and more than seven others were injured due to Turkish shelling targeting the city of Tel Rifaat.

Ankara has conducted three military campaigns in northern Syria since 2016, mainly targeting Kurdish forces, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), it believes are linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). With its Syrian militia proxies, Turkey now controls Afrin, areas north of Aleppo, and pockets of territory within the Kurdish region in the northeast known as Rojava.

In Turkey’s latest offensive, in October 2019, large numbers of civilians were displaced and the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) warned Ankara was relocating Syrian refugees from other areas of the country in “religious, ethnic, and cultural replacement.”

The military operation ended with ceasefire agreements brokered by #Washington and Moscow that included the deployment of Russian and Syrian regime forces to the region. In December, Russia sent additional units to the Ain Issa area after deadly clashes between Turkish-backed militias and the SDF.

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