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Turkey-backed Islamist rebel groups in Azaz on Wednesday shelled several villages in the Kurdish district of Afrin, in Syria’s Aleppo province, with the goal to isolate the Afrin canton.
According to Rojava-based news agency ANHA, Turkish reconnaissance jets are hovering over the village of Sheikh Issa in Afrin.
On 28 May, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) captured the Sheikh Issa village from Syrian rebels.
Now Turkish-backed forces want to take Sheikh Issa and Tell Rifaat, which was captured by the SDF from rebels on 15 February 2016.
Local sources reported that the Turkish-backed rebels shelled Maranaz, Qastal Jendu, Malikiyah, Ain Daqneh, Harbul, and other villages near Afrin –also known as Efrîn.
“Turkey may choose to invade Tel Rifaat with elements it supports. Fine. But any expansion of territory will further tax resources,” said Aaron Stein, a resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East.
“Post co-conflict governance in ES [Euphrates Shield territory] is, well, not so great. More territory will make governance harder,” he added.
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News
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