Syria and IraqTurkey talks of ‘accounting’ – 27 dead in attacks on Kurdish areas
Turkey is blaming Kurdish groups for the Istanbul bombing – and is launching a long-heralded military offensive against militias in Syria and Iraq.
It’s about it
Turkey attacked Kurdish positions in northern Syria and northern Iraq.
At least 27 people were killed.
Ankara is justifying the attacks as a response to the bombing in Istanbul, which critics describe as a pretext for Turkey to link the occupied territories.
A week after fate Bomb attack in Istanbul the Turkish army attacked Kurdish positions in northern Iraq and northern Syria. The operations were directed against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, the Defense Ministry in Ankara announced on Sunday. Ibrahim Kalin, a spokesman for Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said on Twitter that it was time for “reconciliation”. Turkey blames Kurdish groups for an explosion that killed six people in Istanbul last Sunday.
At least 27 people were killed and 38 injured, some seriously, in airstrikes on Sunday evening, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. According to the Turkish Defense Ministry, 89 targets in northern Syria and northern Iraq were “destroyed”. Moreover, “terrorists were largely neutralized.”
Bombs in Kobane and Aleppo areas
According to the observatory, the Turkish Air Force, among other things, bombed places near Kobane and Aleppo. A Syrian government post was also targeted. Syrian soldiers were killed in the attacks, activists and the Syrian state news agency Sana reported. Turkey identified the northern Iraqi cities of Kandil, Asus, Hakurk and the Syrian cities of Tall Rifat, Kobane, Jazeera and Al-Malikiyah as targets.
Turkey has carried out four military offensives in northern Syria since 2016, also targeting the YPG. Ankara sees the YPG as an offshoot of the PKK and regards both as terrorist organizations. The US is working with the YPG to fight the Islamic State (IS) terrorist militia, but classifies the PKK as a terrorist group. In northern Syria, as a result of its military operations, Turkey is occupying border areas and cooperating with rebel groups.
It also attacked targets in Iraq
of Conflict between the Turkish Armed Forces and the PKK it has a decades-long history and has claimed thousands of lives so far – most PKK members and allies have been killed, according to the International Crisis Group. The Turkish army also attacked several locations in northern Iraq, the “Rudaw” news website reported. The target was the Kandil mountains. The PKK has its headquarters there.
Ankara’s defense ministry on Sunday invoked the right to self-defense under the UN Charter. Experts believe that the goal of the Turkish government could be to connect the Turkish-occupied areas west and east of the Syrian city of Kobane. After the offensive began overnight, there were more attacks in the region throughout Sunday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The PKK and YPG deny involvement in the bombing
The pro-Kurdish HDP party in Turkey strongly condemned the attacks. The government used the attack in Istanbul as a pretext to crack down on Kobane, which it said had “inspired the oppressed of this world” with its “epic resistance” to IS.
The PKK and YPG strongly deny any involvement in the Istanbul bombing and also accuse Turkey of creating a pretext for another military operation in northern Syria with the allegation. Even independent experts have expressed such suspicions, especially since the Turkish president has been announcing such an offensive for months. The USA, as well as Russia and Iran, have already clearly warned Ankara against another military offensive. Russia and Iran support Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
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