Home News Turkey settles accounts and launches airstrikes against Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq

Turkey settles accounts and launches airstrikes against Kurdish regions of Syria and Iraq

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Turkey launched this Sunday, November 20 an air operation in northern Iraq and Syria targeting several regions under the control of the Syrian Kurdish forces and the PKK, accused by Ankara of the recent attack which left six dead and 81 injured in Istanbul.

Immediately designated, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by Washington, rejected these accusations and denied any involvement in this attack.

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The operation, called “Sword Claw”intended to “eliminate terrorist attacks from northern Iraq and Syria, ensure border security and eliminate terrorism at its source”said the Turkish Ministry of Defense, in a press release.

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“The hour of reckoning has come! The bastards will be held accountable for their treacherous attacks”he had launched in the night on Twitter.

Nearly 25 airstrikes were carried out by the Turkish army in the Syrian provinces of Raqa and Hassaké (northeast) and Aleppo (north), killing at least nine in the ranks of Kurdish forces and six dead in those of the Syrian regime, and injuring 31 others according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), an NGO based in London and which has an extensive network of sources in Syria.

A destroyed power plant

The strikes mainly targeted the city of Kobané (north) and its surroundings, near the Turkish border, in particular grain silos near Al-Malikiyah (north-east) and a power station in the south of this province, located in areas under the control of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, an armed coalition dominated by the Kurds).

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Turkish strikes completely destroyed the fourth power plant in Taql Bakl, near Al-Malikiyah in southern Hassakeh province, reported an AFP photographer, who saw dead bodies near a car on Sunday morning. on the spot, and large holes in the ground.

The shelling also targeted positions where Damascus regime forces are deployed in Raqa, Hassaké and Aleppo, according to the OSDH.

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“Kobane, the city that defeated the Islamic State, is the target of bombardments by the air force of the Turkish occupation”announced Farhad Shami, a spokesman for the SDF, who had denied any link with the attack which reported that two members of the SDF were killed in Al-Malikiyah, and four pro-regime soldiers in the north of Aleppo.

The commander-in-chief of the SDF, Mazloum Abdi, denounces the bombardments “aggressive and barbaric”. “The Turkish bombardment of our areas threatens the entire region. This bombardment serves no party. We are doing everything to avoid a major catastrophe. If war breaks out, everyone will be affected”he tweeted.

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“No casualties” in Iraq

On the other hand, the Turkish strikes did not “no casualties” in northern Iraq, an official of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional government told AFP. “The Turks have targeted at least eight areas where there are PKK bases without causing any civilian casualties” assured this official, citing the mountainous regions of “Shingal, Rawanduz, Bradost, Qandil, Asos, Soran, Rania and Qaladzi”located between Erbil, the capital of Iraqi Autonomous Kurdistan and the Iranian border.

According to a PKK spokesman “These operations are not new, they have been going on for seven months without interruption”he said, assuring that “the Turkish army carried out 3,694 bombardments on the soil of Iraqi Kurdistan” during this period.

The day after the attack in a busy shopping street in Istanbul, the Turkish authorities accused a young woman, presented as a Syrian national, of having planted the bomb.

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According to Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, “the order for the attack was given from Kobané”a city controlled by Kurdish forces.

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The US State Department said on Friday it feared “a possible military action by Turkey”advising its nationals not to travel to northern Syria and Iraq.

At war since 2011, Syria is fragmented due to the intervention of multiple groups and foreign powers in the conflict.

Turkey, whose soldiers are present in areas of northern Syria, has been threatening since May to launch a major offensive against the SDF, which it considers “terrorists”. Ankara says it wants to create a “safe zone” 30 kilometers wide at its southern border.

Between 2016 and 2019, the Turkish army launched three major operations in northern Syria targeting Kurdish militias and organizations

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