Turkey announces air operation in Syria, Iraq in retaliation for Istanbul blast
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Turkish fighter jets on early Sunday hit several alleged positions belonging to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in both Syria and Iraq, the defense ministry announced the new operation.
Dubbed Claw-Sword Air Operation, the airstrikes were conducted to “retaliate for any treacherous attack on our country,” Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said while supervising the night operation that targeted caves, tunnels, and other hideouts allegedly used by the Turkish militants.
Kobani, Derik, and Derbisiye in northeast Syria came under heavy strikes, which resulted in the killing of at least a dozen members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the pro-regime forces, according to the London-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The mountainous areas of Duhok province in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region also came under air raids.
The ministry’s Twitter account on early Sunday shared a post, writing “the hour of reckoning has come.”
In the blast that recently occurred in Istanbul’s busy Istiklal Avenue, at least six were killed and over 80 people. Ankara pointed the finger blame at its long-standing foe, the PKK, for being responsible for the attack. The militant group denied its involvement.
Local Kurdish officials in northeast Syria expressed their concerns regarding the Turkish strikes, warning it could “destabilize” the region.
Russia-controlled airspaces in Syria also witnessed strikes along with areas that had been previously patrolled by US forces along with Kurdish-led SDF.