Rockets fired at US base in northern Syria as fears of escalation grow

[26-11-2022 12:23 PM]

Ammon News - Two rockets targeted a US military patrol base in north-eastern Syria on Friday night amid heightened tensions in the region following Turkey's attacks targeting Kurdish groups.

The US Central Command said the rocket attack on the base in Al Shaddadi, about 100km from the Turkey-Syria border, did not cause any injuries or damage.

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, a paramilitary force dominated by the Kurdish YPG militia, found a third unfired rocket at the site from where the rockets were launched, Centcom said.

The attack followed a renewed call by the US for immediate de-escalation following days of deadly air strikes and shelling along the Syria-Turkey border.

Turkey this week launched a wave of air strikes targeting armed Kurdish groups in neighbouring Syria and Iraq, in retaliation for a deadly November 13 bombing in Istanbul.

The groups have denied involvement in the bombing and say the Turkish strikes have killed civilians and threaten the anti-ISIS fight.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said that 67 civilians, gunmen and soldiers have been killed in the Turkish attacks in northern Syria.

Nikolas Granger, the US senior representative to north-eastern Syria, said on Friday that Washington “strongly opposes military action that further destabilises the lives of communities and families in Syria and we want immediate de-escalation”.

The developments are “unacceptably dangerous and we are deeply concerned”, Mr Granger said.

He said the strikes also endangered US military personnel in the region.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened a new military offensive against Kurdish groups in northern Syria . On Friday, he said Turkey would continue its “struggle against all kinds of terror inside and outside our borders”.

Turkey has carried out three major incursions into northern Syria since 2016 and its forces control parts of the region.

Turkey and the United States both consider the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a terror group for the decades-long insurgency and attacks the group has staged within Turkey’s borders.

But they disagree on the status of the YPG. The Syrian Kurdish group has been a key US ally in the fight against ISIS as the main group in the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Kurdish officials in Syria have been warning that any new Turkish incursion would disrupt the fight against ISIS, which still has sleeper cells and has carried out deadly attacks in recent months against the Syrian Kurdish-led opposition forces as well as Syrian government forces.

“We take these threats seriously and prepare to confront any ground attacks,” Siamand Ali, a spokesman for Syrian Democratic Forces, told Associated Press.

(The National News)

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