On June 1, four people, including a militant, were killed and several others were wounded when a salvo of rockets struck the Turkish-occupied town of Tell Abyad in the northern countryside of Syria’s Raqqa.
The rockets landed in several residential districts inside the town as well as in the vicinity of the nearby al-Hikmah hospital.
Syrian opposition activists blamed the attack on the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, the Press Center of the Kurdish-led group refuted these accusations, claiming that Tell Abyad was targeted by an unidentified drone.
The deadly rocket attack came following a speech by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in which he said his country will launch a military operation in the northern countryside of Syria’s Aleppo to capture the SDF-held towns of Tell Rifaat and Manbij.
Erdogan said that the Turkish military will also move against the SDF in “other regions” of Syria, likely in a hint to the northern Raqqa countryside and the northern countryside of al-Hasakah.
Late on May 31, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) deployed large reinforcements in its positions in SDF-held areas to the south of Tell Abyad.
The SAA and the SDF began preparing to confront any attack by the Turkish military and its proxies in northern and northeastern Syria in late May following threats by Erdogan. Since then, Russian forces in Syria have also taken several measures to deter Ankara.
Turkey, who appears to be determined to launch a new operation against the SDF in Syria, could use the deadly rocket attack on Tell Abyad as a casus belli.
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