Two Turkish-backed fighters killed in clashes in northern Syria

Two members of the Turkish-backed Sultan Murad division were killed in clashes with the majority Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria’s Qamishli province on Sunday, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported.

Two more Sultan Murad members were wounded in Qamishli’s Tel Tamr, SOHR said.

Military reinforcements to Turkish forces and Turkey-backed Syrian groups in the area had partially withdrawn from the Abu Rasin area in Hasakah on Friday, SOHR said, while forces that had been deployed previously remained in place.

Turkish sources on Friday reported that Syrian groups had thwarted two suicide attacks in Tel Abyad and Ras al Ayn, while earlier in July several civilians were killed and wounded in a bombing in Tel Abyad.

Turkey took control of the area with the Operation Peace Spring that launched after the United States decided to withdraw from the Kurdish-held region in northeast Syria in October. Turkey and Russia agreed to establish a safe zone in Syria along the Turkish border, but occasional clashes have continued.

Turkey is currently engaged in military operations in Northern Iraq, against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which it says has close ties with the SDF. PKK is designated a terrorist organisation by Turkey, and recognised as such by the United States and the European Union.