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MIDEAST >Turkey returns fire on YPG in northern Syria: Military

ISTANBUL - Reuters

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Turkish forces retaliated with artillery fire overnight and destroyed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia targets after YPG fighters opened fire on Turkey-backed forces in northern Syria, the Turkish military said on June 28.

The army said YPG machine-gun fire on June 27 evening targeted Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) elements in the Maranaz area south of the town of Azaz in northern Syria.

“Fire support vehicles in the region were used to retaliate in kind against the harassing fire and the identified targets were destroyed/neutralized,” the military statement said.

The boom of artillery fire could be heard from the nearby Turkish border town of Kilis, private broadcaster Habertürk said.

Ankara was angered by a U.S. decision last month to arm the YPG as part of the battle for Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) stronghold of Raqqa. Turkey considers the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Faced with turmoil across its southern border, Turkey last year sent troops into Syria to support FSA rebels fighting both ISIL and Kurdish forces who control a large part of Syria’s northern border region.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had said Turkey would not flinch from taking tougher action against the YPG in Syria if Turkey believed it needed to.

June/28/2017

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