Turkish air strikes in Syria and Iraq
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Yesterday Turkey launched a military air operation in the Syrian and Iraqi territories, a week after the Istanbul bombing for which Ankara blamed Kurdish organizations. At dawn yesterday, Turkish warplanes launched dozens of airstrikes on areas controlled by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose backbone is the Kurdish People’s Defense Units (YPG), in northern Syria, as well as areas where the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is present in Iraq .
The operation, which began at dawn yesterday, included areas in the northern Aleppo countryside controlled by the “SDF” and others east of the Euphrates River in Ain al-Arab (Kobani), al-Darbasiyah and Jabal Kirchuk and were also targeted targeted grain elevators and a power plant in the countryside in the city of al-Malikiyah. According to video clips released by the Turkish Defense Ministry, it showed areas owned by Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, which the Turkish Defense Ministry described as hotspots for terrorist organizations, without giving a timeline for the military operation, amid speculation of opening up operations in Kurdish-controlled areas in Syria and in Iraq.
Turkey’s Defense Ministry announced the launch of the “Claw Sword” air operation “aimed at eliminating terrorist attacks from northern Iraq and Syria, ensuring border security and eliminating terrorism at its source.” And at night, the Turkish Defense Ministry posted a picture of a fighter taking off for a night attack on its Twitter account, adding the phrase: “The hour of reckoning is ticking.” According to local Syrian media sources, the Turkish raids targeted areas along the border strip with Syria and Iraq, 700 km long and 195 km deep SDF is spreading.
dead and wounded
And while the Syrian Democratic Forces announced the killing of one of their fighters, 11 civilians and 15 members of the Syrian army, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the killing of 31 people, 18 of whom are members of the “SDF”, the Kurdish Security Forces and other affiliated armed groups, in addition to 12 soldiers. The Kurdish forces and the Syrian Observatory confirmed the assassination of the correspondent of the Hawar Agency of the Kurdish Autonomous Administration.
In the first comment from Damascus on the raids, the Syrian Defense Ministry announced the deaths of a number of soldiers as a result of the Turkish attacks, without stating the number of dead.
The SDF called on the United States and Russia to intervene to stop the Turkish military operation, noting in a statement that this operation was in nobody’s interest and waving a “strong response”.
The raids came despite the Washington-backed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) denying any connection to last Sunday’s Istanbul bombing that killed six and wounded 81 others.
Two days before the Turkish military operation, the US consulate in Erbil warned its citizens against travel to northeastern Syria and northern Iraq, noting that it was “monitoring reliable reports of possible Turkish military action in Syria and Iraq.”
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