Turkish-backed Syrian opposition factions, known as the Syrian National Army (SNA), conducted an assault on the countryside of the Manbij (Minbic) region in northern Syria on Friday, resulting in the deaths of five children.
The Manbij Military Council (MMC), which is associated with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), stated on its official Facebook page that its fighters effectively thwarted the attack initiated by the SNA factions.
The MMC revealed that the assault originated from the northern and western countryside of Manbij, and their fighters managed to repel the offensive. As a result of the attack, residents from the border villages between the MMC and the Turkish-backed SNA factions were forced to flee.
Head of the SDF Media Centre, Farhad Shami, expressed his outrage over the incident via a tweet, saying that the SNA factions had “committed a horrific massacre against five children in the al-Muhsunly village.” Shami reported that the massacre occurred after the SNA militants infiltrated the village earlier that day.
The attack on the village by Turkish-backed factions was followed by a reportedly Russian airstrike on the area. In response to claims that the deaths of the children were caused by the airstrike, Shami affirmed that the SNA attack preceded the airstrikes and the children were killed before the airstrikes.