Turkish cross-border fire kills 10 YPG members in Syria: Report
10 YPG members were killed after Turkish forces fired howitzer shells across the border into Syria's Ayn al Arab region, state-run Anadolu Agency said on Oct. 31.
The missiles were launched from Turkey's southeastern province of Şanlıurfa, along the Syrian border, the agency added.
Six other YPG members were wounded in the strikes on the region, which is also known as Kobani.
Turkey's move came a day after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan vowed to remove both the YPG and ISIL from Syria as he accused a “power that uses terrorist groups as leverage” in the war-torn country in order to reach its ambitions in the region.
“A power, which uses all terrorist organizations indiscriminately as a lever to achieve its goals in the region, is now trying to reproduce this disgusting game,” Erdoğan said on Oct. 30 addressing his lawmakers at the parliament. He avoided to name that power but accused it for trying to “resurrect” ISIL in Syria.
“Neither people in the region nor the world believe in the Daesh [Arabic acronym of ISIL] game,” said Erdoğan,
“Turkey will never allow ISIL to drag Idlib and then all of Syria into chaos by inciting the regime or reviving Daesh in the region,” he added.
Erdoğan also vowed to crush YPG members east of the Euphrates River in Syria.
“We will destroy the terror structure east of the Euphrates River,” he said.
Turkey has finalized plans for a “comprehensive and effective” operation that would target the YPG, he noted.
“We have started active intervention operations against the terror organization in the last couple of days. We will soon come down hard on the terror organization with more extensive and effective operations,” he said.
Turkish forces had already bombarded positions east of the river held by the YPG, state-run Anadolu Agency reported on Oct. 29. Turkish artillery strikes on Oct. 28 hit Kurdish trenches and positions on a hill in the village of Zor Moghar, in northern rural Aleppo.
The YPG is the core of a force that has fought against ISIL with the support of United States air power, arms, funding, training and an estimated 2,000 American special forces troops on the ground.
Turkey considers the YPG as an offshoot of the illegal PKK and has already intervened to sweep the fighters from territory west of the Euphrates in military campaigns over the past two years.
Turkish forces have already forced the YPG out from the region west of the Euphrates.