Turkey’s Defense Ministry has announced the launch of the “Forked Sword” air operation in northern Iraq and Syria, areas it believes have been “used as bases by Kurdish terrorists.”
” The planes have taken off from their bases, the air operation has begun,” the ministry said in a statement, one week after the bloody attack in Istanbul.
The operation is being conducted “based on the legitimate rights of defense as provided for in Article 51 of the UN Charter, in order to neutralize terrorist attacks from northern Iraq and Syria, ensure border security and eliminate terrorism at its source” added The announcement.
If the evidence is true, then this is a large air operation that may be a precursor to a land operation.
On Saturday night, Syrian Kurdish forces accused Turkey of shelling areas under their control in the northern part of Syrian territory, while Ankara said the “time of reckoning” had come after the terrorist attack in Istanbul last Sunday the 13th. November.
The airstrikes were launched even though days earlier the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rejected Ankara’s accusation that they were behind the attack on Istiklal last Sunday, when they lost the six people lost their lives and another 81 were injured.
According to the SDF, the Turkish bombardment targeted SDF positions in the provinces of Aleppo (north) and Hasakah (northeast), mainly in the city of Kobani, a short distance from the border with Turkey.
“Kobani, the city that defeated Islamic State, is being bombarded by the Turkish air force and the Turkish occupation forces,” said Farhad Sami, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led SDF. He had categorically denied that the Kurds were behind the bombing in Istiklal.
Over 20 hits
There were more than 20 strikes by the Turkish military in the two provinces, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based NGO that relies on a wide network of sources in war-torn Syria.
The shelling killed at least six SDF members and six Syrian soldiers, according to the same source.
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