DAccording to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Turkey has attacked Kurdish positions in northern Syria from the air. At least six members of the SDF military alliance led by Kurdish units and six government soldiers were killed. The Turkish news channel CNN Türk also reported attacks on places like Kobane. On the Twitter page of the Turkish Ministry of Defense it said in the evening: “Accounting time!” The “attacks” will be avenged. It wasn’t immediately clear what the tweet was referring to.
Last Sunday, 6 people were killed and 31 others injured in an attack in Istanbul. The Turkish government holds the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG responsible for this, which is why some experts had already speculated that they could use this as an opportunity for a new offensive in northern Iraq. The YPG – as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) – is present in the areas that have now been attacked, according to the report.
Turkish attacks on SDF positions were reported on Syrian state television, and Syria’s state news agency Sana spoke of “Turkish aggression”. SDF commander Maslum Abdi reported bombings on Twitter.
The YPG is backed by the US and played a crucial role in expelling the Islamic State (IS) jihadist militia from Syria and also from Kobane. Turkey, on the other hand, accuses the YPG of being an offshoot of the PKK and therefore also classifies it as “terrorist”. The country has already initiated four military offensives in northern Syria since 2016, some of which were aimed at the YPG.
Turkey has been trying for years to set up a “buffer zone” in the Kurdish area on its border with Syria and to expel the Kurdish units from there.