December 9, 2022

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Turkey vows more retaliation after 2 killed in cross-border Kurdish strikes

2 min read

ISTANBUL/AMMAN — Turkey said a Kurdish militia killed two people in mortar attacks from northern Syria on Monday, in an escalation of cross-border retaliation following Turkish air operations at the weekend and a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul a week ago.

Turkey’s armed forces said it was responding, and a senior security official told Reuters that Turkish jets had again started hitting targets in northern Syria.

In the latest in a series of tit-for-tat attacks, several mortar shells hit a border district in Turkey’s Gaziantep province, leaving a child and a teacher among the dead and at least six wounded, said Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said.

A pregnant woman initially reported as killed was badly wounded and is under treatment in hospital, Soylu said later.

Local governor Davut Gul said five rockets had hit a school, two houses and a truck near the Karkamis border area. Broadcaster CNN Turk said the attack was launched from Syria’s Kobani area, controlled by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.

Turkish warplanes had carried out strikes in Syria and Iraq on Sunday, destroying 89 targets linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the YPG, which Ankara says is a wing of the PKK.

In a statement, the Turkish defense ministry said 184 militants were killed in operations on Sunday and Monday. It said the operations had included air strikes and land-fired weapons.

Turkey said its weekend operation was in retaliation for the bomb attack in Istanbul last week that killed six people, and which authorities blamed on Kurdish militants. The PKK and YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have denied involvement in the Nov. 13 bombing on a busy pedestrian avenue.

Washington has allied with the SDF in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, causing a deep and lasting rift with NATO ally Turkey.

The United States urged de-escalation in Syria and said it opposed “any uncoordinated military action in Iraq that violates Iraq’s sovereignty,” US State…

Neil

2022-11-22 00:54:01

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