Turkish-backed groups starting agricultural fires in North and East Syria

TEL TAMR and RISH AYNO, Syria – The fires that scourged North and East Syria last year have returned. This year’s fires, however, are mostly due to the artillery shelling of the Turkish occupation, rather than the assumed Islamic State who was assumed to be behind the intentionally led fires that caused widespread destruction.

Artillery fire from Turkish forces and the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) has led to repeated agricultural fires in the villages north of Tel Tamr, damaging crops in Al-Qasimiyah and Dardara village.

Fire brigades attempted to reach the location of the fire but were unable to do after being targeted by Turkish-backed factions.

Last week, the Turkish-backed factions set fire to a large swathe of agricultural land in the village of Tal Manakh in the Tel Tamr countryside.

Several agricultural fires were also started in the Rish Ayno (Ras al-Ayn) countryside. According to North Press Agency sources, the fires were intentionally started by members of the SNA. When residents of nearby villages attempted to put out the fires, they were targeted with live rounds from the SNA and were forced to abandon their efforts to put out the fire.

Other fires were also set near Al-Manajiriya, Al-Ahras, Al-Amiriya, and Tal Atash.

According to local villagers, the burned areas near Rish Ayno were estimated to measure 15 sq km.

Local farmers from Tel Tamr estimate the amount of burned land at 2.5 sq km.

There have been 10 crop fires so far this year around Tel Tamr, said the regions fire brigades.