Turkey launches air strikes into Syria

[20-11-2022 09:18 AM]

Ammon News - Turkey launched air strikes over several towns in northern Syria on Saturday, according to Kurdish-led forces and a Britain-based monitoring group.

The air strikes occurred a week after a bomb rocked a bustling avenue in the heart of Istanbul, killing six people and wounding more than 80 others.

Turkish authorities blamed the attack on the militant Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, as well as Syrian Kurdish groups affiliated with it. The Kurdish groups have, however, denied involvement.

Ankara and Washington both consider the PKK a terror group, but disagree on the status of the Syrian Kurdish groups, which have been allied with the US in the fight against the ISIS in Syria.

After the strikes, the Turkish ministry of defence posted a photo of a fighter plane with the phrase, “The treacherous attacks of the scoundrels are being held to account.”

Air strikes targeted Kobani, a town near the border from where Turkey believes the order was made to carry out the Istanbul bombing.

Farhad Shami, spokesperson for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) tweeted that two villages heavily populated with displaced people were under Turkish bombardment.

He said the strikes had resulted in “deaths and injuries.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the strikes had also hit Syrian army positions and that at least 12 had been killed, including both SDF and Syrian army soldiers.

The group said about 25 air strikes were carried out by Turkish warplanes on sites in the countryside of Aleppo, Raqqa and Hasakah.

In neighbouring Iraq, the US consulate general in Erbil said it was monitoring “credible open-source reports” of potential Turkish military action in northern Syria and northern Iraq in the coming days.

The Kurdish-led authority in north-east Syria said Saturday that if Turkey attacks, then fighters in the area would have “the right to resist and defend our areas in a major way that will take the region into a long war.”

Turkey has launched three major cross-border operations into Syria since 2016 and already controls some territories in the north.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had hinted his country would carry out a military operation in northern Syria in response to the Istanbul attack.

The PKK began an insurgency against Turkey in 1984 that has killed more than 40,000 people. The PKK has been designated as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the EU.

Turkey has carried out cross-border air strikes, often with armed drones, in Iraq and Syria as part of its offensive against Kurdish militants.

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