Turkey Fighter Jets Target Civilians in Syria: Kurdish-Backed Group

Turkey Fighter Jets Target Civilians in Syria: Kurdish-Backed Group
Sat Aug 27, 2016 18:55:10

Turkish air raids have struck civilian homes in a village south of Jarablus in northern Syria, a Kurdish-backed group says.

The Jarablus Military Council group, which is part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), said in a statement on Saturday that the airstrikes on Amarna village had caused civilian casualties, and described the attack as “a dangerous escalation that threatens the fate of the region.”

The group said the air raids also hit its positions in the village, some 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Jarablus that was seized by Turkey-backed Syrian militants earlier this week.

The statement described Turkey’s actions as provocative, stressing, “We confirm our ability to defend ourselves.”

The council added that its forces had not approached the border strip to avoid clashes with Turkish forces, adding that "if they do not attack our forces, then we will keep the border strip secure.”

The airstrikes came after Turkish artillery shelled the SDF positions the day before, according to the council.

The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights confirmed the airstrikes. There was no immediate comment from Turkish officials.

Turkish-backed militants seized Jarablus from the Daesh (ISIS / ISIL) Takfiri terrorists on Wednesday, following an incursion by Turkey’s military that involved Turkish tanks and Special Forces supported by US and Turkish fighter jets.

Jarablus is located in Syria’s strategic province of Aleppo and some 398 kilometers (248 miles) northeast of the capital, Damascus.

The ground incursion into northern Syria, which Ankara claims is mainly aimed at fighting Daesh, is partly intended to contain Kurdish forces.

Turkey says the Kurds must withdraw to the east of the nearby Euphrates River.

Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Isik said on Thursday that the operation had two goals - to secure the border area and ensure the Kurds “are not there.”

Ankara fears that Kurdish gains in Syria will fuel militancy at home.

Syria has condemned the intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.

On Saturday, Turkey sent six more tanks into northern Syria to join fifty other tanks and some 380 personnel troops already on the ground to bolster the military offensive against militants and Kurdish forces.

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