NORTH AND EAST SYRIA — Due to the continuous ceasefire and human rights violations of the Turkish occupation and its proxy force, the Syrian National Army (SNA), in the regions of North and East Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) issued a statement on Sunday condemning Turkey’s attacks along the frontline and announced the deaths of eight members of the SDF, four of which were killed by Islamic State sleeper cells.
On 28 August, the Turkish-backed SNA launched an attack on the village of Al-Hushnah near Ayn Issa, north of Raqqa, resulting in the deaths of four members of the SDF, said the statement.
In the face of vastly superior firepower employed against it by NATO-member Turkey, the SDF has suffered hundreds of losses.
The current frontline in the region has been more or less stagnant since ceasefires were brokered by the U.S. and Russia halted the Turkish operation. While the SDF, the military forces of the autonomous administrations governing large areas of North and East Syria, are not signatories of the ceasefires, they have agreed to abide by them.
Despite the ceasefires, Turkish and Turkish-backed forces continue to attack SDF forces positioned in the region.
In March, amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire to combat the virus. While the SDF has said it would abide by such a ceasefire, Turkey made no such overtures.
The SDF statement also announced the deaths of four of its members in attacks by Islamic State cells in the countryside of Dayro Zcuro (Deir ez-Zor) near Dashisha.
The SDF have suffered significant losses during its successful campaign to liberate the areas of North and East Syria from the Islamic State. The SDF announced at the end of the campaign that it has suffered 11,000 casualties during the years-long campaign.
After its territorial defeat, the Islamic State still maintains a significant presence in the Dayro Zcuro countryside and has been waging a campaign of bombings and assassinations from its remaining hideouts in the region.