Turkey confirms lethal airstrikes in Syria and Iraq concentrating on Kurdish teams | Turkey

Turkey launched lethal airstrikes over northern areas of Syria and Iraq, the Turkish defence ministry mentioned on Sunday, concentrating on Kurdish teams that Ankara holds answerable for final week’s bomb assault in Istanbul.

Warplanes attacked bases belonging to the outlawed Kurdistan Staff’ occasion (PKK), and the Syrian Folks’s Safety Units, or YPG, the ministry mentioned in a press release, which was accompanied by photographs of F-16 jets taking off and photographs of a strike from an aerial drone.

The ministry cited Turkey’s proper to self-defence below article 51 of the UN constitution in launching an operation it referred to as Claw-Sword late on Saturday. It mentioned it was concentrating on areas “used as a base by terrorists of their assaults on our nation”.

Syrian Kurdish officers have alleged that civilian deaths have been brought on by the air assaults.

The airstrikes got here after a bomb rocked a bustling avenue within the coronary heart of Istanbul on 13 November, killing six folks and wounding greater than 80 others. Turkish authorities blamed the assault on the PKK and its Syrian affiliate the YPG. The Kurdish militant teams have, nevertheless, denied involvement.

Ankara and Washington each contemplate the PKK a terror group, however disagree on the standing of the YPG. Beneath the banner of the Syrian Democratic Forces, the YPG has been allied with the US within the struggle towards Islamic State (IS) in Syria. The PKK has fought an armed insurgency in Turkey since 1984. The battle has killed tens of 1000’s of individuals since then.

After the strikes, the defence ministry posted a photograph of an F-16 fighter aircraft with the phrase: “Payback time! The scoundrels are being held to account for his or her treacherous assaults.” The DHA information company reported that F-16s took off from airfields in Malatya and Diyarbakır in southern Turkey whereas drones have been launched from Batman.

The ministry claimed that 89 targets have been destroyed and a “massive quantity” of what it designated “terrorists” have been killed in strikes that ranged from Tall Rifat in north-west Syria to the Qandil Mountains in Iraq’s north-east.

Turkey’s defence minister, Hulusi Akar, oversaw the airstrikes from an operations centre and congratulated the pilots and floor employees. “Our intention is to make sure the safety of our 85 million residents and our borders, and to retaliate for any treacherous assault on our nation,” he mentioned, based on a ministry assertion. Akar claimed that a variety of targets “have been destroyed with nice success”, together with what he described because the “the so-called headquarters of the terrorist organisation”, with out giving additional particulars.

Different Turkish officers responded to the assaults. The presidential spokesperson, İbrahim Kalın, tweeted {a photograph} of the Turkish flag with the remark “Payback time for Istiklal” a reference to the road the place final week’s bombing occurred.

The airstrikes focused Kobane, a strategic Kurdish-majority Syrian city close to the Turkish border that Ankara had beforehand tried to soak up its plans to ascertain a “secure zone” alongside northern Syria.

The Syrian Democratic Forces spokesperson, Farhad Shami, wrote in a tweet that two villages closely populated with displaced folks have been below Turkish bombardment. He mentioned the strikes had resulted in 11 civilian deaths and destroyed a hospital, an influence plant and grain silos.

Within the Syrian city of Derik, which lies the place the borders of Syria, Iraq and Turkey meet, the Related Press discovered a burnt-out petrol station with destroyed buildings close by. “There have been Turkish airstrikes right here, roughly 5 strikes,” mentioned Abdulgafar Ali, an worker on the petrol station. “The bombardment prompted mass destruction. It shut down the station utterly and resulted within the killing and injuring of harmless civilians, who dedicated no sin.”

The Girls’s Safety Units, or YPJ, which is linked to the YPG, mentioned the airstrikes focused areas alongside the Turkey-Syria border together with Kobane, Darbasiyah and Ain Issa. “The airstrikes are random that concentrate on the folks,” the YPJ media workplace mentioned in written response to the Related Press.

“The individuals who fought the Daesh terrorist organisation are actually below assault by Turkish warplanes,” it mentioned, utilizing an Arabic acronym to confer with IS.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition conflict monitor, reported that the strikes had additionally hit Syrian military positions and that no less than 12 had been killed, together with SDF and Syrian troopers.

The observatory mentioned about 25 airstrikes have been carried out by Turkish warplanes on websites within the countryside close to Aleppo, Raqqa and Hasakah.

The Syrian defence ministry mentioned a number of Syrian troopers have been killed within the northern Aleppo countryside and Hasakah province. Syrian state media had beforehand reported that three troopers have been killed.

In neighbouring Iraq, officers of the Kurdistan regional authorities mentioned no less than 32 PKK militants had been killed in 25 air raids.

The Kurdish-led authority in north-east Syria mentioned on Saturday that if Turkey assaults, then fighters within the space would have “the precise to withstand and defend our areas in a serious method that may take the area into an extended conflict”.

The SDF commander, Mazloum Abdi, referred to as on folks to stay at house and abide by safety forces’ directions. “We’re making each effort to keep away from a serious disaster. If conflict erupts, all will probably be affected,” he tweeted.

An SDF assertion later mentioned the assaults “is not going to stay unanswered. On the applicable time and place, we are going to reply in a robust and efficient method.”

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu information company reported {that a} Turkish soldier and two cops have been later wounded in a rocket assault on the Öncüpınar border gate with Syria.

It has emerged that the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, gave the order for the airstrikes as he was coming back from the G20 assembly of world leaders in Indonesia on Thursday. The president’s workplace launched photographs of Erdoğan being briefed on his aircraft by Akar.

Afterward Sunday, Erdoğan, accompanied by a clutch of officers together with Akar, left Turkey for the World Cup opening ceremony in Qatar.

Turkey has invaded northern Syria thrice since 2016 and already controls some territories within the north. Earlier this yr, Erdoğan threatened one other army operation within the border space. Turkish forces launched a contemporary floor and air operation, referred to as Claw-Lock, towards the PKK in northern Iraq in April.

Supply hyperlink