Syria – Conflict – Turkey

Turkey Shells Kurdish Fighters in Syria after Warning

Turkey Shells Kurdish Fighters in Syria after Warning
Fri Aug 26, 2016 07:37:00

Turkey shelled Kurdish militia fighters in Syria on the second day of a major military operation inside the country, saying they were failing to observe a deal with the US to stop advancing in terrorist-held territory.

Turkey sent a fresh contingent of tanks Thursday into Syrian territory, a day after a lighting offensive by hundreds of Syrian rebel fighters — backed by Turkish tanks, war planes and special forces — took the Syrian town of Jarabulus, ending over three years of terrorist control.

Turkey says Operation Euphrates Shield — its most ambitious offensive of the five-and-a-half year Syrian civil war — is aimed at ridding the northern Syrian border area of both Islamic State (ISIS / Daesh / ISIL / IS) extremists and the Kurdish militia vehemently opposed by Ankara.

Defense Minister Fikri Isik warned the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia — who also had designs on Jarabulus — to move back east across the Euphrates or also face intervention from Turkey.

Hours later, Turkish artillery shelled targets of the PYD inside Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency said, saying the group had violated a deal with the United States to stop advancing.

It quoted security sources as saying that the Turkish military would continue to intervene against the PYD until it began to retreat.

The Hurriyet daily said the PYD elements had been identified by a Turkish drone 10 kilometers (six miles) north of the Syrian town of Manbij.

The group of PYD elements was then fired on by Turkish Firtina howitzers from inside Turkey, it said. The group was “eliminated,” it added, without giving further details; AFP reported.

S/SH 11

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