Number of protestors killed in clashes with Turkish forces in north Syria rises to 7

Syrian demonstrators protest near a Turkish army observation point in Ibbin Samaan in the western part of Syria's northern Aleppo province on July 1, 2024. (Photo by AAREF WATAD / AFP)

Clashes between armed protesters and guards of Turkish positions in Syria’s north killed seven people, a medical source and a rights group said Tuesday, revising a former toll of four, Turkish Minute reported, citing Agence France-Presse.

The protests on Monday in the Turkish-controlled border strip followed a rampage a day earlier against Syrian businesses and properties in central Turkey, where a Syrian man had been accused of harassing a child.

“Seven protesters have been killed … during exchanges of fire with people guarding Turkish positions,” the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) said.

Six were killed in the city of Afrin and one in Jarablus, said the British-based monitor with a network of sources inside Syria.

It did not specify whether the protesters killed were armed or not.

A medical source in northern Syria also told AFP seven people had been killed in the violence.

Calm prevailed on Tuesday morning, AFP correspondents in the area said.

On Monday hundreds of Syrians demonstrated throughout the Turkey-controlled area, with some armed protesters attacking Turkish trucks and military posts, and puling down Turkish flags.

Some even attempted to storm crossing points, clashing with Turkish border guards.

According to the SOHR, four border crossings with Turkey have been shut in the wake of the violence.

The protests also extended to the rebel-held Idlib region, near the Turkish-controlled area, an AFP correspondent and the SOHR said.

Earlier Tuesday Turkish authorities said they had detained 474 people after the anti-Syrian riots.

Since 2016 Turkey has carried out successive ground operations to expel Kurdish forces from border areas of northern Syria.

Pro-Turkish forces in Syria now control two vast strips of territory along the border.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan supported early rebel efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad at the start of the war in 2011.

But he has reversed course in recent years, with top officials from both countries meeting in Russian-mediated talks.

On Friday, Erdoğan had pointed to a possible meeting with Assad, saying it was “not impossible.”

Turkey, which hosts some 3.2 million Syrian refugees, has been shaken several times by bouts of xenophobic violence in recent years, often triggered by rumors spreading on social media and instant messaging applications.

Take a second to support Stockholm Center for Freedom on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!