Turkey attacks Kurdish militia, Iraqi militants

Author : Mircea Birca | Wednesday, June 28, 2017
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Turkish forces retaliated with an artillery barrage overnight and destroyed People’s Protection Units (YPG) targets after the Kurdish militia opened fire on Turkey-backed forces in northern Syria, the military said on Wednesday.

It said Turkish warplanes separately struck Kurdish militants in northern Iraq on Wednesday, killing seven fighters from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) group, which Ankara says is closely linked to the YPG.

The strikes came after Turkey’s defense minister warned that Ankara would retaliate against any threatening moves by the YPG and after reports that Turkey was reinforcing its military presence in northern Syria.

The US supports the YPG in the fight against Daesh in Syria, while NATO ally Turkey regards them as terrorists indistinguishable from militants from the outlawed PKK, which is carrying out an insurgency in southeast Turkey.

Turkey’s army said YPG machine-gun fire on Tuesday evening targeted Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements in the Maranaz area south of the town of Azaz in northern Syria.

“Fire support vehicles in the region were used to retaliate in kind against the harassing fire and the identified targets were destroyed/neutralized,” the military statement said.

The boom of artillery fire could be heard overnight from the Turkish border town of Kilis, broadcaster Haberturk said.

It was not clear whether there were casualties in the exchange of fire.

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