Turkey Strikes Regime Targets In Syria: Military Source

Turkey-backed rebels in al-Bab (Photo: AFP)

The Turkish military has struck Syrian army positions near Manbij with rockets and artillery fires, Syrian state-run news agency quoted Sana as saying, a day after Turkish, Russian and American army chiefs met to avoid such confrontations.

It reported that the Turkish shelling killed a number of border guards stationed outside Manbij, and wounded several others. The military source argued that Turkey’s goal was to halt the advance of the Syrian regime forces.

“Turkish aggression on the Syrian Arab republic territories is just an attempt to stop the success and progress made by the Syrian army,” the source said.

Recent string of victories, backed by Russian air power, brought forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to a neighborhood in Aleppo countryside where Turkish-backed rebels, Syrian Kurdish militants, and ISIS insurgents fight.

There was no immediate reaction from the Turkish side and it was not clear if the Turkish shelling, if true, was a mistake.

Turkey has started military operations in northern Syria since last August to clear its border from ISIS militants and prevent a Kurdish statelet on its border. Last month, Turkish-backed rebels liberated al-Bab from ISIS and Turkish leaders vowed that the next target would be Manbij, a town largely controlled by Syrian Kurds.

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