Turkey’s protection ministry mentioned Friday it had launched a brand new wave of air strikes towards Kurdish targets in Syria in retaliation for a bombing assault in Ankara.
The announcement got here simply hours after Overseas Minister Hakan Fidan mentioned the US downing of a Turkish fight drone concerned within the Syria operation with Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
The Turkish protection ministry mentioned it had hit 15 Kurdish targets in northern Syria on Friday night “with the utmost quantity” of ammunition.
The targets included “headquarters and shelters” utilized by Kurdish forces that the USA has relied on to combat the Islamic State group in Syria.
Fidan informed Blinken that Ankara’s air strikes in Syria will proceed “with willpower” regardless of Thursday’s drone episode — the primary of its type between the strategic NATO allies.
Turkey stepped up cross-border air raids towards Kurdish targets in northeastern Syria and northern Iraq in retaliation for a bombing in Ankara that injured two policemen final Sunday.
A department of the Kurdistan Staff’ Social gathering (PKK) — listed as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies — claimed duty for the primary bombing to hit the Turkish capital since 2016.
Turkey concluded that the 2 assailants who died within the Ankara assault got here from Syria.
Turkey’s operation in Syria has primarily been focusing on oil and different vitality services managed by the Kurdish Folks’s Safety Items (YPG).
The group includes an integral a part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) — the Kurds’ de facto military within the space — that spearheaded the battle to dislodge Islamic State group jihadists from the area in 2019.
The SDF mentioned Friday that eight civilians have been among the many 15 folks confirmed killed within the first two days of Turkey’s strikes.
United States assist for the YPG has strained Ankara’s ties with Washington for the reason that jihadists’ defeat.
Washington mentioned an F-16 jet shot down the Turkish drone after it got here shut sufficient to US positions supporting the Kurdish fighters to be deemed a safety risk.
Blinken “highlighted the necessity to coordinate and deconflict our actions,” State Division spokesman Matthew Miller mentioned after the decision with Fidan.