SDF hits Turkish Urfa, Gaziantep and Mardin; vows more attacks: statement
On Thursday, the US-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) claimed responsibility for striking sites in southern Turkey in what it said was a retaliation to the recent military escalation by Turkish forces on the Kurdish-held regions in northern and eastern Syria.
The SDF carried out three operations on the Turkish-Syrian border in locations belonging to the Turkish cities of Urfa, Gaziantep, and Mardin, the SDF’s media center said in a statement on 18 August.
According to the SDF statement, at least seven Turkish soldiers, including an officer and an intelligence officer, were killed in the attacks and three more wounded.
“In retaliation to these aggressions, our forces have conducted three effective operations against the Turkish occupying army in the border cities of Riha, Dilok, and Mardin,” the SDF stated.
The SDF vowed to continue its operations against Turkish sites if Ankara continued its military attacks in what the YPG-led forces claimed was the “legitimate right of response.”
Meanwhile, the Turkish Defense Ministry acknowledged the death of one soldier a day after he was hit by a bombardment by “terrorists” at the Çiçekalan border crossing with Syria in Birecik district, in the southern state of Urfa.
In a statement, the Turkish Defense Ministry mourned on 17 August, Enes Gazi Özdemir, a soldier who died after being hit by mortar shells the day before at the southern Turkish border.
On 16 August, a Turkish soldier was killed, and four others were wounded in two separate attacks, which the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) is accused of carrying out in the southern provinces of Gaziantep and Urfa.
The Turkish Anadolu news agency (AA) quoted Şanlıurfa Governor Salih Ayhan as saying that a Turkish soldier was killed and four others were wounded as a result of an attack by “terrorist organizations” at the Çiçekalan crossing.
The Turkish Hurriyet newspaper reported on 16 August that the PKK carried out an attack from inside Syrian territory with mortar shells in the Karkamış area of Gaziantep province, but the attack did not result in any casualties.
The Turkish military forces are targeting the SDF military positions, which Turkey considers an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, and the SDF responded by bombing the areas of the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA) in northern Aleppo countryside.
The areas of the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES) are witnessing intense bombardment by the Turkish air force, which has recently targeted SDF sites on a daily basis, leaving casualties and material losses.
The Turkish forces have repeatedly targeted, whether regime forces or members and leaders of Kurdish organizations, in northern and eastern Syria, which Turkey considers “terrorist” organizations that threaten its national security on its southern borders.
Three Syrian soldiers were killed and six wounded on 16 August as Turkish warplanes targeted a Syrian military site in the Jarqali hill in Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), northeast of Aleppo governorate, according to the regime’s Defense Ministry.
In recent weeks, the intensity of the bombing has escalated on the contact lines in northern Syria between the Turkish-backed opposition forces, the Russian-backed regime forces, and the US-backed SDF.
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