ISTANBUL – Turkish warplanes carried out dozens of airstrikes in northern Syria and Iraq on Sunday in what Turkish officers referred to as an anti-terrorist marketing campaign to root out militants accused of orchestrating a lethal assault final week in Istanbul.
“Scoundrels are being held accountable for treacherous assaults!” the Turkish Ministry of Protection he wrote on Twitter earlier than daybreak on Sunday, in a submit with a photograph of a warplane taking off. The assaults focused shelters, tunnels, ammunition dumps and coaching camps, the ministry stated.
Greater than two dozen folks have been killed, however totally different teams gave totally different numbers and will not have acknowledged all of the useless fighters.
The Kurdish-led militia that administers northeastern Syria stated 14 civilians and one fighter have been killed. The group, referred to as the Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, has vowed to strike towards Turkey, however has not stated when or how.
“These assaults won’t go unanswered,” the SDF Basic Command stated in a press release. “We are going to reply successfully and effectively on the applicable time and place.”
The brand new violence was a pointy enhance in tensions between two forces which have lengthy hated one another, and each have shut ties to america.
In Syria, america has labored with the SDF to struggle Islamic State jihadists, and a small contingent of U.S. forces stays in territory the group controls in northeastern Syria, close to the Turkish border.
However that partnership has angered Turkey, a US NATO ally, which views Syrian Kurdish fighters as a part of the Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration, or PKK, which has fought a bloody decades-long insurgency towards the Turkish state, aiming to higher independence or autonomy. Turkey, the European Union and america contemplate the PKK a terrorist group.
After a bombing that killed six folks and injured dozens extra on a busy pedestrian avenue in Istanbul final week, Turkish authorities launched pictures of a girl they stated planted the bomb and accused her of working for the PKK. Dozens of different suspects have been arrested. because the authorities purpose to learn the way the crime was dedicated.
That bombing was the primary such assault in Turkey in additional than 5 years, and raised fears that Turkey may return to the times when its cities have been routinely focused by the PKK or Islamic State jihadists.
In a press release on Sunday, the Turkish Protection Ministry stated its warplanes had hit 89 targets in northern Iraq and Syria, all army infrastructure linked to the PKK. The marketing campaign was geared toward “defending terrorist assaults from northern Iraq and northern Syria, offering border safety and destroying terror at its supply,” the ministry stated.
Farhad Al Shami, a spokesman for the SDF in northwest Syria, stated the useless civilians included an electrical energy station employee and two guards defending grain silos, in addition to an SDF fighter.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a bunch in Britain that tracks the battle by contacts inside Syria, stated the useless included one civilian, 14 SDF fighters and 12 troopers from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s authorities.
Syria’s state information company SANA stated solely that “a quantity” of its troopers have been killed in assaults on its bases in northeastern Syria.
Ben Hubbard reported from Istanbul, and Sangar Khaleel from Dohuk, Iraq. Hwaida Saad contributed reviews from Beirut, Lebanon and Safak Timur from Istanbul.