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Rudaw

Syria

Turkey hit SDF positions to prevent Kurds reaching al-Bab, say security sources

By Rudaw 21/10/2016
The Turkish military claimed to have killed up to 200 fighters in airstrikes over Wednesday night.
The Turkish military claimed to have killed up to 200 fighters in airstrikes over Wednesday night.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkey carried out airstrikes on Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF) positions in northern Syria in order to prevent Kurdish forces from reaching al-Bab, according to security sources. 

Turkish officials issued an ultimatum to the People’s Protection Units (YPG) after they began to advance towards al-Bab, giving them until 8:00 Wednesday evening to withdraw to the previous position, Hurriyet Daily News reported Turkish security forces saying on Friday on the condition of anonymity. 

The Turkish military claimed to have killed up to 200 fighters in airstrikes over Wednesday night.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) reported on Twitter that Turkish planes had carried out at least 14 airstrikes, bombing positions of the Jaish al-Thuwar, a member of the SDF, near the border of Efrin, the western-most canton of the Rojava, the self-autonomous region of northern Syria. 

The YPG and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported much lower casualty figures of between 10 and 15.

Russia has expressed concerned about Turkey’s actions, the country’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday. 

“As for reports of Turkish Air Force airstrikes in northern Syrian regions, we have heard about these statements. We are very alarmed about what is happening. As I understand it, we are talking about attacks on areas inhabited by the Kurds,” Lavrov said at a briefing, according to Sputnik News. 

Lavrov pointed out that Turkey is a member of the US-led multinational coalition fighting Islamic State (ISIS) militants and urged Washington to “remain within the stated objective as commanders of the coalition.” 

Turkey intervened in Syria on August 24 in support of hundreds of Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels. It has two objectives in northern Syria, to push ISIS militants away from its border and prevent any YPG advances westward of the Euphrates River. 

The US supports Turkey’s efforts against ISIS in Syria but has refused to support Turkey’s attack on the YPG positions, since the US is working closely with the YPG against ISIS. Washington has urged both sides to avoid clashing and to focus their efforts on destroying ISIS.

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Elpidio Valdez | 21/10/2016
The Russians should shoot down Turkish planes in Syrian airspace.
H. Neff | 21/10/2016
now its urgent time for the rusian aieforce to retaliate
Biji Kurdistan | 22/10/2016
So Turkey is bombing Kurds and Arab SDF fighters to stop them from advancing on ISIS positions. I cant believe there are people out there that dont see Turkey's blatant support for ISIS.
A Kurd in exile | 22/10/2016
Somebody (NATO, The U.S., or Russia) should stop the mad dog of Turkey (Sultan Erdogan) from committing another genocide against the Kurds. The world has not forgotten yet the Turkish genocide of the Armenians 100 years ago. The World Powers should not allow another Turkish genocide now.
duroi | 22/10/2016
Turkey/FSA plan is to fully encircle Afrin canton by a siege and cut its link to Halab before moving to break the Aleppo siege. As I wrote last month, YPG needs to open a corridor from Manbij to Afrin canton immediately. Forget about Al-Bab and focus on Kurdish Qibasin and Sousian-Halisa (route 20) before it is too late.

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