A Turkish army tank drives towards the northern Syrian town of Jarablus on Thursday. Photo: Bulet Kilic/AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Turkey has shelled Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG) positions north of Manbij on Thursday evening, Turkish state media reported, while the YPG have reported on the possible use of chemical weapons in the shelling.
Citing security sources, Anadolu Agency reported that Turkish forces opened fire after obtaining intelligence that Kurdish forces were advancing on Jarablus as opposed to withdrawing to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River, as the United States had promised
they were doing.
The YPG, on Twitter, reported the apparent use of chemical weapons in the area. “Rockets fired frm #Jarablus hit civilians in rural #Manbij, causing irritation/itching after gas emissions.”
The Free Syrian Army (FSA), backed by Turkish forces on the ground and in the air, launched an operation to liberate the northern Syrian town of Jarablus from Islamic State (ISIS) Wednesday morning. They declared victory later the same day after ISIS put up little resistance.
The Syrian Coalition of opposition groups praised the FSA’s achievement, “The FSA groups managed to take the town in around 12 hours, after which the FSA fighters set to clear the town from the mines and IEDs planted by ISIS militants,” reads a statement released by the Coalition on Thursday.
They called on the international community to increase support of the FSA “to defeat the terrorist organizations and their sponsors, led by the Assad regime as it is the key player in the spread of terror, chaos, and destruction in Syria.”
The Coalition also urged the FSA to protect civilians and requested the Syrian interim government, a body formed by opposition groups, to assist in restoring services and public institutions in the town.