ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) - The Turkish army late on Tuesday shelled United State-allied Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) positions in the Afrin district in Syrian Kurdistan.
The major Turkish Hurriyet newspaper said the shelling was "retaliatory in response to continued and intensive fire from YPG DShK heavy machine guns."
There was no reported casualties from the YPG side, the group Turkey labels as "terrorist" for its controversial ties with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Over twenty mortars hit Afrin where YPG positions were determined via radar, reported the paper.
A Tuesday press release by the YPG said there were mortar attacks on Afrin by Turkish-backed Islamist groups a day earlier but did not mention any shelling by the Turkish army itself.
"Turkey said it would continue to exercise its right to defend itself within the existing rules of engagement provided by international conventions," said army sources.
The shelling of Afrin comes after Turkey sent additional troops and armored vehicles last week to its border with Syria, of which much of its north is under Kurdish control.
The YPG is a US ally in the war against the Islamic State in Syria.
In Afrin, unlike other Kurdish self-declared autonomous cantons, the US has no military presence.
Instead, Kurds in Afrin mostly rely on a regiment of the Russian army to keep any Turkish threat in check.
In October 2016, a score of Turkish airstrikes killed over 100 fighters in an air campaign that drew condemnation from Russia, and which the US described as "uncoordinated movements."
Editing by G.H. Renaud