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Syrian Kurdish Forces Allege Turkish Attacks

  • Zana Omar

When Turkey began a two-pronged assault against Islamic State and Kurdish PKK rebels last month, critics of the Turkish government worried the fight would spread to other Kurdish targets. Anti-IS Kurdish forces' allege they recently have come under Turkish attack in Syria.

Tensions are building along the Turkish-Syrian border, where a Syrian Kurdish militia outpost recently came under attack. In the Syrian village of Zor Mughar, members of the YPG militia blame artillery from Turkish tanks across the border.

“They [artillery rounds] came from this side," said a YPG fighter. "Turkey says it was not them, but it’s obvious it came from there. Jarablus is nearby, so any attack on Syria will have to have come from there. There have been many attacks by the Turkish military from that side.”

The YPG's general command is demanding an explanation and has complained to the international coalition fighting IS.

“What Turkey is doing is a clear violation against the YPG. We have conveyed this to the partners in the coalition," said YPG Spokesman Redur Khalil. "The coalition is aware of it. Also, the YPG has made an official statement about this incident, asking for a clarification from Turkey’s side.”

The Turkish military did not respond to VOA's request for comment on the attack.

The U.S., which supports Turkey's military campaign, has made clear it must not extend to the YPG, whose political arm is affiliated with the PKK, yet has also proven an effective ground force against the Islamic State.

In a separate incident, the YPG said that Islamic State militants were attacking the town of Sirrin, while Turkish fighter jets flew overhead.

“As Turkish fighter jets were flying over Sirrin and Kobani, Islamic State terrorists were attacking Sirrin," said Khalil. "As a result, seven YPG fighters were killed. Turkey must clarify all these subjects. Why are they [Turkey] doing these things, while they are supposed to fight Islamic State?”

The YPG alleges that Turkey handed over six wounded YPG fighters, in Turkey for medical treatment, to al-Qaida linked al-Nusra militants. The Turkish military did not respond to VOA's request for comment on the YPG allegations.

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