Wednesday, 20 June, 2018

Turkish Airstrikes, Artillery 'Kill At Least 35 Civilians in Syria'

US-allied Kurds say Turks attacked them in Syria Turkish Airstrikes, Artillery 'Kill At Least 35 Civilians in Syria'
Melinda Barton | 01 September, 2016, 13:34

Turkish armored personnel carriers drive toward the border in Karkamis on the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Gaziantep province, Turkey, on Saturday.

Turkish warplanes attacked a group allied with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), after Turkey earlier this week launched an offensive into northern Syria against Kurds and Islamic State forces.

Turkey's military said its warplanes killed 25 Kurdish "terrorists" and destroyed five buildings used by the fighters in response to attacks on advancing Turkish-backed rebels in the Jarablus area.

They were Turkey's first casualties since dispatching tanks and special forces units, backed by U.S. and Turkish fighter jets, into Syria on Wednesday to oust the Islamic State militant group from the border town of Jarabulus.

The monitor also said at least four Kurdish fighters had been killed and 15 injured in the bombardments south of Jarabulus, the town taken from IS by Turkish-backed Arab rebels on the first day of Turkey's incursion on Wednesday. They have also moved west towards ISIS areas.

Russia, which backs Assad, has endorsed the proposal. Ankara has said that the offensive it began in Syria is as much about fighting Isis as it is about preventing Kurdish forces from making territorial gains in Syria along the Turkish border.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 50 people had been wounded in the attack south of Jarabulus, in an area controlled by militias allied to the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

One of the villages to change hands was Amarneh, where clashes erupted for the first time between Turkish forces backed by tanks and pro-Kurdish fighters on Saturday. The Anadolu Agency did not say which group or village was targeted.

The SDF, which is spearheaded by the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia, has been lauded by both Russian Federation and the West as one of the most effective forces fighting Isis, and has received extensive United States support.

Earlier Sunday, Kurdish rebels, apparently targeting a police checkpoint at Diyarbakir Airport, fired a grenade that exploded near the airport's VIP passenger entrance, shattering windows, the local governor's office said. Al-Waer is the last rebel-held area in Homs, Syria's third largest city.

The al-Waer neighborhood of almost 75,000 people has been under siege since March and has been one area that U.N agencies have reported hard to access. The Syrian Observatory reported on Saturday that at least 16 people were killed when helicopters dropped explosives on a funeral in a rebel-held area of Aleppo. The U.N. said it has pre-positioned aid ready for delivery into Aleppo, to reach 80,000 people on the rebel side and some on the government side.

The escalation against the neighborhood comes after the evacuation of Daraya, a Damascus suburb, following a deal struck with the government after a grueling bombing campaign and a tight siege.

The same hashtag, #TurkeyToStopCivilianSlaying, was also posted by Turkish Twitter users to deny claims that their country has killed civilians in Syria.