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Friday, December 2, 2022

Turkey has been bombing Kurdish opponents in Iraq and Syria, likely killing dozens of people in each country

On Sunday, Turkish fighter planes carried out dozens of airstrikes in northern Syria and Iraq as part of what Turkish authorities referred to be an antiterrorism effort to seek out terrorists whom they accused of planning a fatal bomb assault in Istanbul last week.

Before daybreak on Sunday, the Turkish Ministry of Defense sent a message on Twitter that said, “The scoundrels are being held responsible for the wicked assaults!” The remark was accompanied by a photograph showing a warplane taking flight. According to the ministry, the attacks targeted several locations including shelters, tunnels, munitions depots, and training centres.

It was stated that more than a dozen persons had been killed, although various organisations offered varying figures, and it is possible that they did not recognise all of the combatants who had been slain.

According to the militia that is commanded by Kurds and oversees the northeastern part of Syria, there were 15 deaths: 14 civilians and one combatant. The Syrian Democratic Forces, often known as S.D.F., have made a solemn oath that they would retaliate militarily against Turkey.

The Southern Democratic Forces General Command issued a statement in which it warned, “These assaults will not stay unanswered.” “We shall react in a manner that is both effective and efficient at the appropriate time and location.”

The most recent outbreak of violence was the result of a rapid escalation in tensions between two groups who have long held a mutual hatred for one another and that both have deep ties to the United States.

The United States of America collaborated with the Syrian Democratic Soldiers in the war against the Islamic State in Syria. Even now, a small number of American forces is stationed inside the region that the organisation controls in northeastern Syria, close to the border with Turkey.

However, this alliance has outraged Turkey, a NATO ally of the United States. Turkey believes that Syria’s Kurdish fighters are members of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which has waged a brutal insurgency against the Turkish state for decades in an effort to obtain independence or greater autonomy. Insurgent organisation known as the PKK is regarded as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the European Union, and the United States.

After an explosion on a major pedestrian boulevard in Istanbul last week, which resulted in the deaths of six people and the wounding of scores more, the Turkish police published images of a woman who they said was responsible for planting the bomb, and they accused her of working for the PKK. As the investigation continues, the police have detained dozens of more people in an effort to figure out how the crime was carried out.

The blast in Istanbul was the first incident of its kind to take place in Turkey in more than five years, and it sparked worries that the nation may revert to the days when the PKK or jihadists affiliated with the Islamic State frequently attacked major cities.

Both the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the military arm of the PKK have denied any participation in the explosion that took place in Istanbul.

According to a statement released by the Turkish Ministry of Defense on Sunday, Turkish aeroplanes had struck 89 targets in northern Iraq and Syria. All of these targets were military facilities associated to the PKK. According to the statement made by the Ministry, the objective of the operation was to “ensure border security and eradicate terror from its source” while also “fending off terror assaults from northern Iraq and northern Syria.”

In a video that was uploaded to the ministry’s Twitter page, it was shown that the names of two Turkish children who had been murdered in the incident in Istanbul were inscribed on bombs that were mounted to fighter planes.

A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces in northwestern Syria named Farhad Shami said that among the civilians who were killed was a worker at an electricity station, two guards who were protecting grain silos, and one S.D.F. fighter. He also said that one of the S.D.F. fighters was among the dead.

According to Syrian Kurdish health authorities, an attack took place on Sunday on a paediatric hospital that was under construction close to the city of Kobani in Syria.

One civilian, 14 members of the Syrian Democratic Forces, and 12 members of the government of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria were among the dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which is based in the United Kingdom and monitors the conflict in Syria through contacts within the country.

SANA, Syria’s state-run news agency, said simply that “a number” of its troops had been killed in attacks on their positions in northeastern Syria, but did not provide any more details.

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