Turkey launches airstrikes over northern Syria

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BEIRUT — Turkey launched airstrikes over a number of cities in northern Syria on Saturday, U.S.-backed Kurdish-led forces reported.

The airstrikes occurred per week after a bomb rocked a bustling avenue within the coronary heart of Istanbul, killing six folks and wounding over 80 others. Turkish authorities blamed the assault on the outlawed Kurdistan Employees’ Social gathering, or PKK, in addition to Syrian Kurdish teams affiliated with it. The Kurdish militants teams have, nonetheless, denied involvement.

Ankara and Washington each think about the PKK a terror group, however disagree on the standing of the Syrian Kurdish teams, which have been allied with the U.S. within the battle in opposition to the Islamic State group in Syria.

The airstrikes focused Kobani, a strategic city close to the Turkish border that Ankara had beforehand tried to overhaul in its plans to set up a “protected zone” alongside northern Syria. SDF spokesperson Farhad Shami in a tweet added that two villages closely populated with displaced folks had been underneath Turkish bombardment.

Syrian opposition media reported that Turkish airstrikes focused Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces positions.

No casualties had been reported.

In neighboring Iraq, the U.S. Consulate Common in Erbil stated it’s monitoring “credible open-source studies” of potential Turkish army motion in northern Syria and northern Iraq within the coming days.

The Kurdish-led authority in northeast Syria stated Saturday that if Turkey assaults, then fighters within the space would have “the correct to withstand and defend our areas in a significant manner that can take the area into a protracted warfare.”

Turkey has launched three main cross-border operations into Syria since 2016 and already controls some territories within the north.

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