New Turkish bombardments in Syria

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New Turkish bombings in Syria< /p>

Citizens observe the aftermath of a Turkish bombardment in the city of Azaz.

Turkey, called for restraint by Washington and Moscow, struck several targets in Syria on Tuesday after fresh threats from President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to launch a ground operation against Kurdish fighters “soon” in the north of the country.

Mr. Erdogan has been threatening an offensive in northern Syria since May, but the November 13 attack in Istanbul (6 dead and 81 injured), attributed by Ankara to Kurdish fighters from the PKK (Workers' Party of Kurdistan) and the YPG (People's Protection Units), risks speeding up operations.

We have been flying over the terrorists for a few days with our aircraft and our drones. God willing, we will eliminate them soon with our soldiers, our guns and our tanks, the head of state said on Tuesday during a speech in the northeast of the country.

Turkish Air Force on Sunday launched Operation Sword Claw, a series of airstrikes against 89 PKK and YPG positions in northern Iraq and Turkey. Syria, which caused nearly forty deaths in Syria according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH).

Tuesday evening, Turkish artillery shelling continued on the emblematic city of Kobané, in northern Syria, a stronghold of the YPG retaken in 2015 from the jihadists of the Islamic State group with Western support, the report reported. ;OSDH.

During the day, new Turkish drone strikes targeted in particular a joint base of Kurdish forces and the international anti-jihadist coalition led by the United States, 25 km from north of the city of Hassaké, killing two according to Kurdish forces and the OSDH.

Five civilians, including a child, were also killed in Aazaz (north) in the province of Aleppo and three Syrian soldiers died and several others were injured in the bombardment of the base aerial view of Menagh, not far from Aazaz.

Further shelling targeted an oil field near the town of Al-Qahtaniyah, close to the Turkish border, according to an AFP correspondent.

They wanted to establish a terrorist state around us, we couldn't allow it. Protecting our borders and our nation is our responsibility and our duty, argued Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu.

We will make those who disturb us pay on our territory, President Erdogan warned on Monday.

These statements – released shortly after rocket attacks from Syria that killed two people, including a child in the southeastern Turkish border town of Karkamis – prompted Washington and Moscow to react.

Both countries are involved in the war in Syria, which has claimed nearly half a million lives since 2011.

We call for de-escalation in Syria to protect civilians and support the common goal of defeating [the armed group] Islamic State, pleaded US State Department spokesman Ned Price.

The United States supported the YPG, Syria's main Kurdish force, in the fight against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, allowing them to regain control of Kobani in 2015.

John Kirby, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, acknowledged that Turkey remains exposed to a terrorist threat and has the right to defend itself and its citizens.< /p>

However, he added, these cross-border operations […] could lead to a reaction from some of our partners in the SDF [Syrian Democratic Forces, of which the YPG is a part, editor's note] which would limit their ability to continue the fight against the #x27;Islamic State, he worried.

We want to be able to keep the pressure on IS. This network is greatly diminished, but it is still viable as a threat. Therefore, we want our SDF partners to keep up the pressure, Kirby explained.

Russia for its part hoped that Turkey would exercise restraint and refrain from any excessive use of force in Syria.

We understand the Turkey's concerns […] But at the same time, we call on all parties to refrain from any initiative that could lead to serious destabilization, said Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov.

On Monday, Berlin and Paris had also called on Ankara, respectively, to act proportionately and show more restraint.

In response, Turkey on Tuesday demanded that its allies, states United in the lead, cease all support for YPG fighters.

But the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition dominated by the YPG, say they are focusing their efforts on de-escalation.

Between 2016 and 2019, Turkey carried out three major operations in northern Syria against Kurdish militias and organizations.

Ankara repeats its desire to create a 30 km wide security zone along its southern border.

The conditions are in place for a particularly vigorous offensive against the PKK/YPG, at the& #x27;the presidential and legislative elections of June 2023 are approaching, estimated independent analyst Anthony Skinner, who recalls that President Erdogan has already played the safe card ahead of previous polls.

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