MESOP MIDEAST WATCH : Russian jets bomb Turkish-occupied zone – SYRIA

The attack came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to carry out new operations against the Syrian Democratic Forces late Monday.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) –

Russian jets fired at least one missile at a neighborhood in the Turkish-occupied town of Marea in the northern countryside of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) war monitor reported on Monday.

The missile did not explode.

The attack came after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to carry out new operations against the Syrian Democratic Forces late Monday.

“Turkey is determined to eliminate threats arising from northern Syria, either together with forces active there, or with our own means,” the Turkish president said.

His threat came after two Turkish police officers were killed in a missile attack on Sunday.

Read More: Two Turkish police officers killed in northern Syria: Turkish Defense Ministry

Pro-government media in Turkey also accused the Kurdish component of the US-allied SDF, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), of attacking the Turkish border town of Karkamış with mortar shells and being behind an explosion in Jarabulus on Monday.

However, the SDF denied being involved in the Jarabulus explosion that killed three people and injured six.

They also denied being involved in an attack near the Turkish border.

Read More: SDF denies involvement in attack in northern Syria amid new Turkish threats

Turkey has carried out three cross-border military operations in Syria to date. They were Operation Euphrates Shield (August 2016-March 2017) in northern Aleppo, Operation Olive Branch (January 2018-March 2018) in Afrin, and Operation Peace Spring (October 2019) in an area between Tal Abyad and Serekaniye.

The primary aim of these operations was to prevent territorial expansion by the YPG and SDF.

However, Turkey cannot carry out a fourth operation without a greenlight from either Russia or the United States.

Newroz Ahmed, a top leader in the SDF and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) told Hawar News Agency (ANHA) on Sunday that Afrin was invaded and occupied as a result close Turkish-Russian cooperation.

She called on Damascus to cooperate with the SDF to expel Turkey and Turkish-backed groups from northern Syria.

However, Damascus wants the SDF to surrender and US forces to leave northeast Syria.

It’s not the first time Russian warplanes have bombed areas held by Turkish-backed rebels.

On Oct. 7, a Russian fighter jet carried out two airstrikes on the perimeter of the Turkish base in al-Twees area in the east of Marea city in the northern countryside of Aleppo, SOHR said.

Also, in late September, Russian jets targeted Turkish-backed groups in Turkish-occupied Afrin.

Read More: Second round of Russian airstrikes hit Turkish-backed rebels in Afrin

These Russian airstrikes in Afrin took place a few days before a meeting between Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian resort city of Sochi on Sept. 29.

But it appears that Russian strikes continued after the meeting.

Russia also targeted oil facilities in Turkish-occupied Jarabulus last March.