News ID: 209719
Published: 0324 GMT February 09, 2018

Turkey resumes airstrikes in Syria’s Afrin

Turkey resumes airstrikes in Syria’s Afrin

Turkish warplanes hit Kurdish YPG militia targets in Syria’s Afrin region, the army said on Friday, and a monitoring group reported that seven militants and two civilians were killed in strikes.

The overnight attacks came after a lull in Turkish airstrikes following the shooting down of a Russian warplane elsewhere in Syria last weekend, Reuters reported.

The airstrikes destroyed 19 targets including ammunition depots, shelters and gun positions, the armed forces said in a statement without specifying when the raids were conducted. The raids began at midnight, state-run Anadolu news agency said.

Seven YPG militants and two civilians were killed in the strikes, according to the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based group that monitors the war in Syria.

Turkey had halted airstrikes as Russia worked on its air defense system in the wake of the shooting down by foreign-backed terrorists of a Russian warplane in Idlib Province on February 3, Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper reported.

Ankara launched an air and ground offensive in Afrin on January 20 against the YPG, which it views as a terrorist group and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) that has waged a three-decade insurgency on Turkish soil.

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke by telephone on Thursday and agreed to strengthen military and security service coordination in Syria, according to the Kremlin.

The YPG and its allies have set up three autonomous cantons in the north, including Afrin, since the Syrian conflict began in 2011.

Ankara has been angered by US support for the Kurdish-led forces. It views growing Kurdish power as a security threat along its frontier.

 

   
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