The PKK and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), supported by Washington, have denied any link with the Istanbul attack of November 13, which left six dead and 81 injured.
“The hour of reckoning has come! The bastards will be held accountable for their treacherous attacks“, threatened on Twitter the Turkish Ministry of Defense, showing the photo of a plane taking off for a night operation without specifying the place. During the night of Saturday to Sunday November 20, the Kurdish forces suffered “aerial bombardments of the Turkish armyagainst the locality of Kobané, in northeastern Syria and against two other villages.
The raids come days after the PKK and the Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) dismissed Ankara’s accusations of responsibility and denied any links with the Istanbul attack of November 13, which left six dead and 81 injured. According to the SDS, Turkey carried out airstrikes on areas under its control in the provinces of Aleppo (north) and Hassaké (north-east), in particular against the city of Kobané, near the Turkish border. “Kobani, the city that defeated the Islamic State, is the target of bombardments by Turkish occupation aircraft“, announced Farhad Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, armed coalition dominated by the Kurds), who had denied any link with the attack.
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Rising tensions in the region
More than twenty strikes were carried out by the Turkish army in the two provinces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), an NGO based in London and which has an extensive network of sources in Syria. The shelling killed at least six members of the FDS and six pro-regime soldiers, according to the OSDH. The Kurdish forces have not announced any losses in their ranks.
But Farhad Shami confirmed that the Turkish bombardments targeted sites belonging to the Syrian government forces in the provinces of Raqqa and Hassaké (north-east) and Aleppo (north), causing deaths and injuries. SDF Commander-in-Chief Mazloum Abdi also criticized shelling “aggressive and barbaric“.
The US State Department said on Friday that it fearedpossible military action by Turkey“, advising its nationals not to go 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. Between 2016 and 2019, the Turkish army launched three major operations in northern Syria targeting Kurdish militias and organizations. 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 area30 kilometers wide at its southern border.