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Turkey has not said its last in northern Syria, as the situation appears to be escalating.
On June 12th, at least 22 people, mostly civilians, were killed in heavy shelling in the Turkish-occupied city of Afrin.
At least 35 were injured in the attack.
The bombing of the city of Afrin also caused huge material damage to civilian property, including homes, cars and shops.
The targeting of the Al-Shifa Hospital led to it closing down, and victims were reported among the hospital staff.
It is unclear who carried it out, but initial blame was laid on Kurdish groups and namely the Afrin Liberation Forces positioned in many of the surrounding villages.
Some sources alleged that the Turkish forces bombed the city, citing Ankara’s efforts to exploit the bombing and its victims on the eve of the Erdogan’s meeting with Biden.
The response came rather swiftly, when Turkish forces and the Ankara-backed militants carried out extensive and large-scale bombings towards the villages outside of their control and where the Afrin Liberation Forces are deployed.
On June 13th, Turkey’s efforts continued.
A series of Turkish strikes hit the Syrian town of Tell Rifaat and its outskirts in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
There are conflicting reports, with some claiming that Turkish drones carried out the strikes, while others said that the drones were simply used to correct Turkish artillery fire.
The Turkish Ministry of National Defense held the SDF responsible for the deadly attack on Afrin.
In its initial response, the Turkish military fired more than 180 rockets and shells on positions of the Kurdish-led group around Tell Rifaat.
The SDF denied responsibility for the attack despite having a track record of firing rockets at Afrin city.
On February 17, 13 people, including six children and three women, were wounded when the group fired a barrage of rockets at Afrin.
On May 2, a 5-year-old girl was killed and her parents were wounded in another rocket attack on the city.
Meanwhile, Turkey is also preparing to push back in Idlib, in responce to the heavy shelling and airstrikes by the Syrian Arab Army with Russian support on Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham militants.
Turkey is reportedly preparing for an offensive.
The Turkish military has stepped up ammunition shipments to the militants.
At least 12 trucks loaded with shells and rockets arrived in the town of al-Bara in southern Idlib from Turkey through the Kafer Lusin border crossing.
HTS is also amassing its forces on several frontlines in Greater Idlib in preparations for a large-scale offensive.
The al-Qaeda-affiliated group has deployed dozens of fighters as well as several battle tanks.
The entirety of Syria’s north – both the Kurdish-populated areas, and Greater – Idlib may be heading towards chaos orchestrated by Turkey.