11 killed in Turkish airstrike on Syrian border post - war monitor

A Turkish airstrike on a Syria border post run by Assad regime forces killed 11 on Tuesday, war monitor Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said on Tuesday.

Another nine were injured in the attack that followed an overnight flare-up between Turkish forces and Kurdish fighters that control the region west of the northwestern town of Kobani, the SOHR said.

The war monitor stopped short of providing details as to whether the victims were affiliated with the Assad regime or Kurdish forces.

Syrian government forces have boosted their presence in the areas under the control of the Kurdish forces in anticipation of a Turkish military operation following an announcement on an incursion by President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in May.

The forces have been deployed to border regions near the Kurdish-held town of Kobani and on the outskirts of Manbij as part of a plan to close all fighting fronts to confront any “aggression” in the region, Al Monitor reported in July. 

Turkey has launched multiple military operations into northern Syria since 2016, seizing areas along the border in what it says is a bid to secure its frontier from threats from the Islamic State (ISIS) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara says is linked to an Kurdish insurgency on its own soil. Such operations have rarely resulted in the killing of Syrian soldiers.

Should Assad regime forces be confirmed to be among those killed on Tuesday, the attack would mark one of the largest escalations since Turkey and Syria traded attacks in 2020, when a Syrian regime strike killed 33 Turkish soldiers in the northwestern province of Idlib.

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