On December 22, the Turkish military and its proxies renewed their attack on several towns and villages held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the northern countryside of Syria’s al-Hasakah.
Turkish-backed militants attempted to advance towards the town of Umm al-Kayf, again. However, they were stopped by SDF fighters. A militant of the so-called Syrian National Army was killed in the failed attack.
At around the same time, the Turkish military pounded the town of Abu Rasin and its outskirts. An eldery woman and a man were reportedly wounded.
A day earlier, four people were killed and seven others, including five service members of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA), were wounded in a series of Turkish artillery strikes that targeted Abu Rasin, the town of Tell Tamer as well as the nearby villages of Umm Harmala, Mazra, Tell Amir, Tell al-Ward, al-Rabi`at and al-Asadiya.
The motives behind the repeated Turkish attacks on SDF-held towns and villages in the northern countryside of al-Hasakah remain unclear.
Turkey may be attempting to pressure the SDF into accepting a new de-escalation agreement. Ankara wants the group to stay away at least 30 kilometers from the areas occupied by its forces in northern and northeastern Syria, according to recent reports.
The original Turkish plan to push the SDF back included a large-scale operation. However, the strong presence of Russian forces and the SAA in areas held by the group have apparently forced Turkey to take a step back.