Residents of five villages in Ras Al-Ayn (Serê Kaniyê) in countryside of northeastern Syrian province of Hasakah on Sunday protested Turkish forces and proxies’ as they carried out ground work in a prohibited area, a war watchdog reported.
In the villages dozens of men, women and children gathered in front of the Turkish army’s trench digging machines, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).
The residents reportedly threw stones at the Turkish soldiers and chanted “the occupier must leave”.
SOHR said that Turkish troops had threatened to kill villagers that intercepted the digging work.
According to the observatory, the villagers feared that the Turkish military aimed to steal land belonging to Kurdish inhabitants in the area.
The Turkish military is divining trenches on agricultural lands just 300 metres away from the Turkish border, SOHR added.
The Turkish forces and Turkey-backed Syrian proxies seized control of Ras al-Ayn in 2019, during Turkey’s Operation Peace Spring against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria.
Turkey sees the Kurdish armed groups that control territories in northeast Syria as a terrorist national security threat.