Turkish forces enter Syrian territory following deadly drone strike
Turkish forces entered Syrian territory in the early hours of Wednesday morning following a Turkish drone strike on a border post run by the Syrian regime which killed 17 people.
The incursion came amid expectations of a new Turkish military operation targeting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which Ankara says could begin “at any time”.
A Turkish military convoy was seen entering the “Euphrates Shield” area of northern Syria, which has been held by pro-Turkish Syrian opposition fighters since 2016, from the Carchemish area in Gaziantep province near the Syrian border, local sources said.
There were calls via mosque loudspeakers in the area telling residents not to leave homes "except in cases of necessity."
The local sources told The New Arab’s Arabic-language sister site Al-Araby Al-Jadeed that Turkish artillery targeted positions of the SDF in Tel Rifaat, while two Turkish drones and a jet fighter flew overhead.
Ankara says that the Syrian Kurdish groups which make up the main component of the SDF are “terrorist organisations” and has previously launched two major operations against them with the aid of Syrian proxy forces, in 2018 and 2019.
Ali Dogan, the mayor of Carchemish, called on residents to remain calm but stay indoors in a Facebook post.
"Friends, do not worry about the new sounds heard in the area, this is the entry of the protection forces," he said. "If it is not necessary, please do not go out of your homes."
Hamza Tekin, a Turkish journalist, tweeted that “the Turkish army is preparing for a military operation which will happen very soon”.
الجيش التركي يتحضر لتحرك عسكري قريبا جدا— Hamza Tekin حمزة تكين 🇹🇷 (@Hamza_tekin2023) August 16, 2022
Ordumuz olsun daim muzaffer