Civilians Killed in Northern Syria Missile Attack

Image copyright: AFP [via Al Jazeera]

The Facts

  • At least 14 were killed and dozens injured on Fri. when a rocket attack hit the northern Syria town of al-Bab. The Syrian Civil Defense, known as White Helmets, said five children were among the dead.

  • The attack in the town, held by Turkey-backed opposition in the northeastern countryside of Aleppo, comes after the Syrian govt. blamed Turkey for an air attack that killed Syrian troops and US-backed Kurdish fighters in Aleppo.

The Spin

Narrative A

Though any civilian casualties are tragic, Turkey is not trying to annex Syrian land, go to war with Assad, or harm the Syrian people. Any military offensive taken by Turkey is in an attempt to free both Turkey and the Syrian population from Kurdish terrorists.

Narrative B

Turkish neo-Ottoman expansionism is in full throttle. Turkey has military assets engaged in the Levant, Horn of Africa, Caucasus, and North Africa and is eager to expand its presence even further. When interacting with powers in the region, Ankara is primarily focused on protecting and promoting its own interests, while also casting itself in the role of regional supervisor for others.

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