Turkish military kills 58 Kurdish insurgents in Syria

ANKARA: In the aftermath of a bomb attack in Ankara just a week ago, Turkish forces carried out an overnight operation against the militant positions in northern Syria. The operation resulted in 58 Kurdish militants being neutralised, said a statement issued by the Turkish Defence Ministry on Saturday.

The ministry also reported that on the previous night, Turkiye’s military conducted airstrikes in northern Syria, effectively destroying 15 identified militant targets.

Turkiye has unequivocally labeled all facilities associated with the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia as “legitimate targets” for its military. This declaration followed the PKK’s claim of responsibility for the recent bombing in Ankara, which left two police officers wounded and the two attackers dead.

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While Turkiye stated that the assailants originated from Syria, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), led by the YPG militia, vehemently denied any involvement.

The Defence Ministry’s statement read, “Targets belonging to PKK/YPG terrorists in northern Syria’s Euphrates Shield, Olive Branch, and Peace Spring operation areas were relentlessly struck throughout the night.” These areas denote regions where Turkiye has previously conducted military incursions.

Interior Minister Ali Yerlikaya disclosed that authorities in the eastern province of Van had apprehended six individuals suspected of having links to the PKK and being involved in an impending attack. In the wake of the bombing, security forces have conducted extensive raids and operations across the nation, leading to the detention of numerous individuals.

Meanwhile, in northwest Syria, government forces’ shelling of several locations in rebel-held areas resulted in the tragic death of seven civilians, including four children, on Saturday, according to a war monitoring group. The shelling is believed to be a response to an attack on a military academy graduation ceremony in Homs that claimed the lives of numerous individuals on Thursday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that three civilians, including two children, lost their lives when government forces shelled a market and homes in the city of Idlib, while two more children were killed in the shelling of the Idlib countryside.

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