Early on July 16, unidentified warplanes conducted at least 3 airstrikes on the Turkish-occupied town of al-Bab in the Syrian province of Aleppo. The strikes destroyed a large building in the town center and led to multiple casualties. Pro-Turkish sources claim that there were civilian casualties only and that the United States or Russia were behind the strikes.
A few hours later, the Turkish Interior Ministry reported that a reconnaissance plane crashed in the Turkish province of Van, near the Iraqi border. 7 personnel, including 2 pilots, on board died in the incident that happened on Mount Artos.
Earlier this year, a series of airstrikes by unidentified aircraft killed several prominent terrorists, including well-known ISIS members, that were freely hiding in the Turkish-controlled part of Syria. The July 16 strikes could be a part of this campaign.
In response to all these developments, Turkish sources cried foul about the killed terrorists and Turkish-led forces were conducting strikes on positions of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces on the contact line in northern Syria. The Turkish Army reacted in a similar way to the July 16 events by shelling SDF positions near Tell Rifat.
On July 15 afternoon, a weapon depot of the SDF exploded in the province of al-Hasakah. The explosion that erupted next to the residential area of the al-Asrafiyah district reportedly killed or injured several SDF members.
Last month, an ammo depot of the SDF in in the vicinity of the town of Rmelan in the same province also exploded. Some sources claimed that Turkish warplanes destroyed it. However, the SDF didn’t provide any information on the incident.
On top of this, a series of explosions rocked the SDF-controlled city of Raqqa on July 14. Three IEDs exploded inside an abandoned building in the al-Tub al-Hadith district in the city center and the fourth one in the al-Jazzrah district in the western part of the city. There have been no reports on casualties and no group has claimed responsibility for the attack. Nonetheless, the main suspect is ISIS cells, which recently increased activity on the eastern bank of the Euphrates.
Meanwhile, the Syrian Army artillery struck positions of Turkish proxies near the villages of al-Bara, Fatterah, Sufuhon and Fleifel in southern Idlib. The tensions in the region heightened since the car bomb attack on a joint Russian-Turkish patrol on July 14. Pro-militant sources reported multiple artillery and air strikes on their positions claiming that the Russians and Assad regime are once again opressing peaceful al-Qaeda members.