On March 12, three children were wounded when the Turkish military shelled a village held by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria’s northeastern region.
The village, Hisza, is located to the southeast of the town of Ain Issa in the northern countryside of Raqqa. Ain Issa is a stronghold of the SDF. The town is located along the strategic M4 highway that links Raqqa with al-Hasakah from the east and Aleppo from the west.
The Hawar News Agency identified the three victims as Khalaf Jassim al-Freij, 15, Awad Jassim al-Freij, 14, and Maher Nawash Onaizan, 10. According to the agency, the wounded children are currently receiving treatment in different hospitals in Raqqa city.
Turkish forces and the SDF have been exchanging attacks in northern and northeastern Syria for well over a month now.
The SDF will likely respond to the Turkish artillery strikes on Hisza very soon. This could further escalate the situation in northeastern Syria.
Last year, a number of reports revealed a Turkish plan to launch a new large-scale military operation against the SDF in Syria’s northern and northeastern regions. Ain Issa and its surroundings were among the main targets of the alleged operation. Ankara may be escalating against the SDF to set the ground for such an operation.