Turkey hits PYD in Syria, says it won’t hesitate to hold operation
ANKARAThe Turkish military hit Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) targets in Syria with howitzers and rockets on July 3, with the defense minister vowing that Ankara would not hesitate to stage operations against the group, which it views as terrorist.
Local sources told daily Hürriyet that unmanned aerial vehicles detected that the PYD’s militia force, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), was preparing for harassment fire on Turkey and the forces of the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA).
YPG ammunition and armored vehicles were destroyed in the raid, they said.
Meanwhile, the military has also stated that Turkish jets hit PKK targets in Iraq on July 4, “neutralizing” nine militants. The jets hit the Zar region in northern Iraq, the military stated.
Defense Minister Fikri Işık told state-run broadcaster TRT on July 4 that the military will continue to respond to the “slightest fire” into Turkish territory from Afrin in Syria.
Turkey considers the PYD and the YPG, which are supported by the United States in the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), to be an organic extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
“We would not abstain from doing what is necessary if Afrin becomes a constant security threat,” Işık said.
“The same goes for Manbij. Turkey would not hesitate to stage an operation if it becomes necessary due to security threats from these regions,” he added.
Işık said he once again conveyed Turkey’s concerns over the PYD to his U.S. counterpart, James Mattis, during a meeting last week.