US expresses concern over escalating violence in North and East Syria amid Turkish bombings

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of mounting Turkish attacks in North and East Syria, the US State Department Spokesperson Matthew Miller voiced the US government’s apprehensions over the situation.

The skies over North and East Syria have witnessed a near consistent presence of Turkish drones conducting strikes in populated areas. The repeated Turkish attacks, in tandem with attacks by the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA), have resulted in both civilian and military casualties, as well as extensive property and infrastructure damage.

In a tragic incident underscoring the urgency of the situation, a shell originating from Turkish occupied areas fell on a residence in the village of Al-Shirka, situated along the M4 road north of Raqqa. This devastating event claimed the lives of a woman and her two children, while another woman and two children sustained injuries. The injured victims were subsequently rushed to a hospital for immediate medical treatment.

Addressing the media during a press conference, Miller underscored that the United States is deeply concerned about the situation, particularly due to its grave consequences for civilian populations and the ongoing efforts to counter the Islamic State (ISIS). The State Department statement failed to mention Turkey by name and called on “both sides” to de-escalate tensions.

President of the International Religious Freedom Secretariat and former Chair of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Nadine Maenza was critical of the statement, saying via social media that, “Once again, [the State Department] makes plea for ‘all sides to maintain and respect ceasefire …’ yet only Turkey is violating the ceasefire.”