We received a prayer request from a contact in a Syrian refugee camp early Tuesday morning saying, “Please pray for our Rojava region and people. Pray to the Lord to stop Turkey’s wanton attacks.”

At the Crossroads has been supporting this camp west of Kobani in Syria through our partners in southeast Turkey.

Rojava, also known as Western Kurdistan, is a de facto autonomous region in northern Syria, sometimes known as as Syrian Kurdistan. The region gained its autonomy in November 2013 as part of the ongoing Rojava Revolution and is a participant in the Syrian Civil War. (Wikipedia)

London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) reported the Turkish army attacked positions of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) with heavy artillery on Saturday in a different part of Rojava. They said there were eight civilians among the victims, including a young mother with her child, and three members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).

ANF News reported the YPG said Turkish troops struck near Girê Spî (Tell Abiad) “with heavy weaponry yesterday evening. The aggression continued till late night.”

“The two young men – Muhammad Ali and Fayza Nasso, who were both born in Afrin – and the young woman, Kamiran Dagelbeldrash (born in Kobani), died because they did not want to flee to Europe, but decided to stay and fight the Islamist extremists,” said Kamal Sido, a consultant of the Society for Threatened Peoples. The SOHR reported that thousands of people were forced to flee to the center of the Afrin region due to Turkish artillery attacks.

“Turkey on Saturday demanded the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia withdraw from areas that it had captured in the northern Aleppo region in recent days from insurgents in Syria, including the Menagh air base,” reported Reuters.

The same Reuters report stated: Turkish “Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Saturday the shelling had taken place under ‘the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area’.”

Breitbart pointed out the Kurdish YPG forces that that Turkey shelled are the “the same militia America has been relying upon as frontline ground forces against the Islamic State. Turkey is also a U.S. ally and a member of NATO.”

Please remember the refugees in your prayers. Even as we try to provide for their physical needs, their physical safety is threatened by the growing aggression at the Syria-Turkey border. The situation is likely to escalate after the fatal car bombing in Ankara, Turkey on Wednesday night.

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Northern Syria as of Feb 2016

This map shows the which military entities control what territory in norther Syria as of 16 February 2016. Click on the map to see the latest version. (Wikimedia Commons)

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