On June 12, clashes broke out between two Turkish-backed factions, the Mu’tasim Division and Ahrar al-Sharqiya, in the village of Ka’ibah in the northern countryside of Syria’s Aleppo.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that the clashes started when a force from the Mu’tasim Division attempted to arrest a militant of Ahrar al-Sharqiya, who was accused of spying for the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) as well as for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). However, some Syrian opposition activists said that a disagreement over a stolen property was behind the clashes.
At least two people were wounded as a result of the clashes, which saw the use of heavy weapons by both the Mu’tasim Division and Ahrar al-Sharqiya.
The clashes ended after an intervention from the Turkish military, who forced its proxies to cease fire after deploying a large force in Ka’ibah.
The clashes came amid preparations by the Turkish military and its proxies to launch a new operation against the SDF. The main targets of the operation will reportedly be the towns of Tell Rifaat and Manbij in the northern Aleppo countryside, where forces from the SDF and the SAA are present.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the goal of any new operation in Syria will be to complete the creation of what he called a “safe zone”. Considering the currently chaos in Turkish-occupied areas in northern and northeastern Syria, it is very unlikely that the Turkish military and its proxies will be able to secure any new area they would occupy.