On December 10, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) sustained heavy casualties and material losses as a result of a series of artillery strikes by the Turkish military, according to Syrian opposition sources.
In the northern countrywide of al-Hasakah, the artillery strikes destroyed rocket launchers of the SDF deployed in the outskirts of the village of Tell Shnan, which is located near the town of Tell Tamr. An SDF fighter was also killed in the strikes.
In the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, the Turkish artillery strikes targeted positions of the SDF in the village of Thukar Saghir. Six SDF fighters were killed and four military vehicles of the group were destroyed.
The artillery strikes represent a major escalation by Turkey, even if their results were exaggerated by Syrian oppositions sources.
The strikes were likely a response to the December 8 mortar attack on the Turkish military’s Azraq post in the northern countryside of Aleppo. Two Turkish service members were reportedly wounded in the attack.
Tensions in northern and northeastern Syria rose a few months ago following reports of a near operation by the Turkish military and its proxies against the SDF. The recent exchange of fire between the two side may be a sign that the operation will start soon.