Rockets Strike Sanliurfa and the SDF Denies Responsibility

Two rockets hit the Turkish state of Sanliurfa, wounding five civilians, but it is unclear who was responsible for the attack writes Alsouria Net.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said they were not responsible for the rockets fired from Syrian territory towards the Turkish state of Sanliurfa.

The SDF said in a statement published on its official page that “this provocative act was carried out by unknown figures who want to cause strife and damage stability in the area.”

The Turkish Defense Ministry said that Sanliurfa, which is on the border with Syria, was hit by two rockets fired from Syrian territory, which wounded five civilians, one of them seriously, and that the wounded were taken to the nearby Ceylanpinar government hospital.

The Turkish army responded to the incident by striking seven positions in Syrian territory with heavy weapons, according to the Defense Ministry on its Twitter page, without specifying the sites it struck.

SDF spokesman Kino Gabriel said in a statement that his forces and its security agencies were carrying out the necessary investigations to reveal the source of the two shells and the people responsible for the incident.

The statement is considered to be the first of the steps through which the SDF is aiming to decrease the escalation with Turkey in light of reports of an expected Turkish military operation on areas controlled by Kurds in northeastern Syria.

Turkey is threatening to carry out a military operation on the Syrian city of Manbij, which is under the control of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkey categorizes as a “terrorist” group.

Turkey is making the establishment of a “safe zone” on the border with Syria a condition for a pull back from the decision for a military operation, according to the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, with the United States as a guarantor for the safe zone.

The US Special Envoy to Syria, James Jeffrey, is visiting Turkey and meeting with Turkish officials to discuss setting up a safe zone in northern Syria.

Discussion of the safe zone began in December, when US President Donald Trump announced a zone would be set up in Syria at a depth of 20 miles (32km) to be free of Kurdish fighters.

However efforts to set up the safe zone have proceeded slowly amid Turkish threats to carry out a military operation to protect the security of its borders, as they put it.

 

This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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