DAMASCUS, SYRIA (5:50 P.M.) – On Tuesday, the Kurdish-led ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) pounded Turkish-held rearguard areas in the northern countryside of Aleppo; most of the artillery bombardment targeted the rebel stronghold of Kaljibrin.
According to a SDF source, the incident was retaliation after the Turkish Army and allied Islamist groups shelled the Kurdish-held Rafu area hours earlier.
Although the exact death toll remains unknown, both sides sustained casualties during the tit-for-tat mortar and artillery exchange.
On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened to attack US-backed Kurdish forces in the Efrin pocket: “We will not leave the separatist organization in peace in both Iraq and Syria,” he said, in reference to the SDF.
On several occasions, the Turkish Army has threatened to launch the so-called ‘Euphrates Sword’ operation in order to crush the SDF in the otherwise largely peaceful Efrin region.