Turkey launches air raids against Kurdish militants in Syria, Iraq

Folks examine a website broken by Turkish airstrikes that hit an electrical energy station within the village of Taql Baql, in Hasakeh province, Syria, on November 20, 2022.
| Photograph Credit score: AP

Turkey introduced on Sunday it had carried out air strikes in opposition to the bases of outlawed Kurdish militants throughout northern Syria and Iraq, which it mentioned have been getting used to launch “terrorist” assaults on Turkish soil.

The offensive, codenamed Operation Claw-Sword, comes per week after a blast in central Istanbul that killed six folks and wounded 81.

Turkey blamed the assault on the Kurdistan Staff’ Get together (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency there for many years and is designated a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies. The PKK has denied involvement within the Istanbul explosion.

“Air Operation Claw-Sword was efficiently carried out, inside the scope of our technique to eradicate terrorism at its supply and eradicate terror assaults in opposition to our folks and safety forces from northern Iraq and Syria,” the defence ministry mentioned in a press release.

The raids focused PKK bases in northern Iraq’s mountainous areas of Kandil, Asos and Hakurk, in addition to bases of the Kurdish Folks’s Safety Items (YPG), in Ayn al-Arab (known as Kobane in Kurdish), Tal Rifaat, Jazira and Derik areas in Syria, the ministry mentioned. Ankara considers the YPG an extension of the PKK.

Of all, 89 targets together with shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots, so-called headquarters and coaching camps belonging to the militants “have been destroyed”, the ministry mentioned, including “many terrorists have been neutralised”, together with the militant teams’ leaders.

“All our planes safely returned to their bases after the operation,” it added.

Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was seen in a video picture briefing President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who gave the order for the most recent operation, which the Syrian defence ministry mentioned killed numerous its troopers.

The Istanbul bombing was the deadliest in 5 years and evoked bitter reminiscences of a wave of nationwide assaults from 2015 to 2017 that have been attributed largely to Kurdish militants or Islamic State (IS) group jihadists.

No particular person or group has claimed accountability.

After the explosion, Turkish authorities arrested greater than a dozen folks, together with chief suspect Alham Albashir – a Syrian girl who is alleged to have been working for Kurdish militants.

Bulgaria has additionally detained 5 folks accused of getting helped one of many suspects.

“The hour of reckoning has come,” the Turkish defence ministry tweeted early on Sunday, together with a photograph of a airplane taking off for an evening operation.

“Terrorist hotbeds razed by precision strikes,” the ministry mentioned in one other publish, which was accompanied by a video exhibiting a goal being chosen from the air adopted by an explosion.

In its first touch upon the Turkish strikes, the Syrian defence ministry mentioned “numerous troopers” have been killed because of “Turkish aggressions in northern Aleppo and Hassakeh provinces at daybreak”.

The raids killed at the very least 11 members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and 10 Syrian regime troopers, mentioned the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a Britain-based monitoring group that has an in depth community of contacts throughout the nation.

The SOHR mentioned the strikes killed solely fighters whereas the SDF mentioned that 11 civilians died.

Turkey’s army has prior to now denied claims that its strikes goal civilians.

Turkey’s newest army push might create issues for Ankara’s complicated relations with its Western allies – significantly the US, which has relied totally on Syrian Kurdish militia forces in its struggle in opposition to IS jihadists.

However Turkey considers the YPG a terror group linked to the PKK and has usually accused Washington of supplying arms to the Kurdish militias in Syria.

Inside Minister Suleyman Soylu rejected the US’ message of condolences after the Istanbul assault, regardless that Erdogan accepted them throughout a gathering on Tuesday with President Joe Biden on the margins of the G20 summit in Indonesia.

Soylu has mentioned Ankara believes the order for the Istanbul assault was given from Kobane, managed by Syrian Kurdish militia forces, which have additionally denied any function.

Kobane, a Kurdish-majority city close to the Turkish border, was captured by IS in late 2014 earlier than Syrian Kurdish forces drove them out early the next 12 months.

“Turkish bombing of our protected areas threatens the entire area,” Mazloum Abdi, the chief commander of the US-allied SDF, tweeted.

Turkey has launched waves of assaults on Syria since 2016 concentrating on Kurdish militias in addition to IS jihadists, and Ankara and forces backed by it have seized territory alongside the Syrian border.

Since Might, Erdogan has threatened to launch a brand new operation in northern Syria.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *