People in Northern Syria in fear of fresh Turkish attacks: Report

People in Northern Syria in fear of fresh Turkish attacks: Report
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BBC's report from the town of Derik reflects the trauma and anguish felt by the civilians following deadly air raids by Turkish war planes.

People in Syria's Kurdish-majority town of Derik remain in fear of being targeted by further attacks of the Turkish military after the deadly air raid on late Saturday, BBC reported.

"In just 24 hours, the mood in Derik has changed noticeably. Yesterday the cafes were full of people, the market busy and bustling. Today those same locations are almost empty," BBC's Anna Foster and Jewan Abdi said.

"There's a real sense of nervousness. People feel like anywhere could be a potential target, so they're avoiding places where they feel vulnerable. Even official-looking cars on the open road are being given more space than usual, with drivers fearing they could be caught up in a strike."

Ten people were killed by Turkish airstrikes around Derik, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), who said the fatalities were fighters of the local militia and Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Mezopotamya News Agency put the fatalities in Derik at eleven..

The Turkish airstrikes, following a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul that according to Turkish authorities was conducted by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), have left at least 35 people dead in various areas of Aleppo, Al-Hasakah and Al-Raqqah in Northern Syria, SOHR said, noting that there are 16 Syrian troops among the fatalities.

According to BBC's report, the fatalities in Derik are not only fighters. A woman in the town's hospital told BBC that her friend's brother was killed during the air strikes, and that he was working inside the electricity station that was hit by a Turkish war plane.

A Kurdish mother, Souad Khalaf, whose daughter Hevrin Khalaf, a prominent political figure, was executed by Turkish backed militia in 2019, was cited saying:

"All the European and international countries can see what Turkey's President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is doing to us and our people but nobody is doing anything (...) Even if he does manage to take over our land, we will still be Syrians. But we don't understand why nothing is being done, even though Turkey is killing us. We call on everyone, and on human rights groups, to stop this aggression against us."

Siyamend Ali, the media officer of the SDF told BBC:

"Everybody knew that we had nothing to do with the attack in Istanbul, we condemned it (...) That's not what we do as the SDF. We fought against ISIS [Islamic State] here, but Turkey is looking for a reason to justify their attacks against us. This only benefits Erdogan and his regime, to make excuses for their operations in our region. Last night they killed 11 civilians, and the SDF lost some of our fighters."

The fear in Derik still did not prevent hundreds of people on Monday from attending a funeral procession for the people who were killed by Turkish attacks.