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Rudaw

Syria

Turkey shells Afrin city for first time, monitor reports

By Rudaw 16/7/2017
Turkish shelling of the Afrin countryside. Photo: YPG press office video
Turkish shelling of the Afrin countryside. Photo: YPG press office video
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey shelled Afrin city for the first time since it began bringing in reinforcements around the Kurdish canton in northwest Syria a month ago, according to a conflict monitor. 

Turkish artillery targeted the al-Ashrafyyeh area of Afrin city as well as villages in the countryside around the city, causing several injuries, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported on Saturday. 

“This is considered the first targeting of the city since the start of Turkish preparations” on June 20 in the northern Aleppo countryside, the Observatory stated. 

The Kurdish force YPG released a statement on Sunday detailing near daily attacks on their forces and locations in Afrin by Turkey over the past week. The YPG accused Turkey and local armed militias the Turkish army is backing of increasing their attacks on the Kurdish region.

Several people have been injured and many homes and properties have been damaged in fires sparked by the shelling, both the YPG and Observatory noted. The YPG added that Turkish reconnaissance aircraft are flying over their areas.

Last month, Turkey began to build up forces around the Afrin region while Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak in Ankara justified the deployments saying “Afrin has become a threat to the security of Turkey.”

Ankara believes the YPG is an extension of the PKK, a banned organization in Turkey, and Kaynak alleged “terrorists” had infiltrated Turkey from Afrin, providing weapons to the PKK. “That is why Afrin must be cleared from terrorists,” he said. 

The YPG has denied any organic links with the PKK.

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Yosimoto | 16/7/2017
First Afrin becomes a threat to the securityofTurkey, then Kobani and Raqqa, then whole Syria and Assad, then Mosul and Iraq and then after all threats to their security are prevented they have the Ottoman Empire.
Kramer | 16/7/2017
Unacceptable! Turkey is terrorizing the civilian population of Afrin by indiscriminatly shelling cities and villiages, that's war crimes.
pre-Boomer Marine brat | 16/7/2017
1) An Ankara bureaucrat misspells Afrin as Asprin. ... 2) The next day, Erdogan orders Turks in Germany to storm the Bayer AG headquarters near Cologne. ... [yes, that's sarcasm]
BismarkPA | 17/7/2017
Turkey is becoming and Islamist state under their current leadership. The rebel groups they support are no better than ISIS, or the Nursa Front yet they claim that the YPG are terrorists. Yet the YPG protects other religious minorities, and is only interested in protecting the people of Syria. I wish NATO would kick Turkey out of the alliance.
hate turkey | 17/7/2017
when will the west of enough Turkey feels they can do what ever they want.

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