Turkey intensifies campaign in Syria against the Kurdish militia

Turkey intensifies campaign in Syria against the Kurdish militia

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A total of 42 civilians and 144 Kurdish, Syrian and Turkish fighters have been killed in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, in the far northwest of Syria, since the beginning of the Turkish military operation “Rama de olivo” against the YPG.

Türkische Armee nimmt Berg Baraja in Syrien ein (picture alliance / AA / E. Sansar)A Turkish soldier holds a Turkish flag on Burseya Mountain after Turkish military aircraft hit targets of the YPG and secured the mountain within the operation “Olive Branch” launched in Afrin, Syria.

Turkish Air Forces once again bombed positions of Kurdish militias in Syria on Saturday night, so they have already completed a week of attacks on hiding places and deposits of Popular Protection Units (YPG), reported today (28.01. 2018) the Army of Ankara. 

According to state broadcaster TRT, Turkish fighters shelled YPG positions on the Bursaya mountain near the Turkish border. Artillery fire was also used.

Air and artillery attacks

The Syrian Human Rights Observatory detailed that 42 civilians perished, including twelve minors and seven women, in the air and artillery attacks launched by Turkey in several localities of the Afrin region, since last January 20, by Turkey.

In addition, 66 YPG fighters were killed, which Turkey labeled a terrorist, as well as 69 Syrian rebels, allies of the Turkish forces, and nine soldiers of the Turkish Army. The NGO said that the number of fatalities could increase due to the serious condition of many injured.

The YPG

The YPG are allies of the United States in the fight against the terrorist militia Islamic State (IS). However, for Turkey, a member of NATO, the YPG is an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and therefore also considers them a terrorist organization.

Turkey began on January 20 with aerial bombardments and continued to advance with ground troops in northwestern Syria a day later with the support of the Free Syrian Army (SLA). The Turkish president, the Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said last Friday that his army will expel the YPG from the border area to push it to the border with Iraq, east of Syria.

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