Clashes erupt between Turkish-backed groups, Kurdish militias

TEHRAN, Jan. 07 (MNA) – Heavy clashes broke out on Saturday between the Turkish-affiliated groups and Kurdish militias in the northwest of Aleppo, Syria.

Syrian sources reported heavy artillery and rocket attacks but the number of possible casualties and damages were not released.

The news comes as Turkish troops and their affiliated forces yesterday targeted several villages on the outskirts of Syria's Afrin with artillery and rocket attacks.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched three military operations inside Syria to target the United States-backed militants, known as the Syrian Democratic Forces. Ankara accuses the SDF of being a cover for the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist group by US, EU and Turkey.

The Turkish military’s presence and operations violate the Arab country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials have said Damascus reserved the right to respond to Turkey's ongoing offensive through all legitimate means available.

Since November 20, the Turkish army has intensified its air and artillery attacks on the northern regions of Syria leaving many civilians killed or wounded.

Ankara says it aims to create a 30-km buffer zone in the north of Syria along its shared southern borders after expelling and the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF forces.

MP/5675826

News Code 195835

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