Turkey intensifies its offensive against the Kurds in Iraq and Syria: it attacked about 500 targets

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“Our operations with planes, guns and drones are just the beginning,” warned President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. One fighter was killed in an offensive on a Russian base

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Turkey steps up He launched his offensive against the Kurds in Iraq and Syria: he hit about 500 targets

Devastation in Derik, Syria, after a Turkish attack (via Reuters)

The Turkish army attacked about 500 Kurdish targets in Iraq and Syria from which began a series of airstrikes on Sunday, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday.

“A total of 471 targets have been hit and 254 terrorists they have been neutralized in the operation” Sword-Claw, Akar was quoted as saying by the official Anadolu news agency.

Kurdish forces for their part reported that one fighter was killed and three wounded on Wednesday in a Turkish drone strike of a Russian base in the northeast from Syria.

The victims are members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, a Kurdish-dominated coalition) at the Russian base, located in Hasaka province, SDF chief Farhad Chami said. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), a UK-based NGO with an extensive network of intelligence sources in Syria, a Russian soldier was also injured.

Turkey intensifies its offensive against the Kurds in Iraq and Syria: hit nearly 500 targets

(North Press Agency/via Reuters)

Turkey has been carrying out a series of air raids in Syria and Iraq since Sunday against Kurdish fighters belonging to what Ankara calls “terrorist” groups.

On Wednesday, the Turkish president said that it was more determined than ever to secure its Syrian border from attacks by Kurdish forces, threatening a ground operation “at the most convenient time.”

Our operations with planes, guns and drones are just the beginning. Our determination to secure our entire southern border… with a safe zone is stronger than ever today,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told lawmakers in parliament. “While we go ahead with uninterrupted air raids, we will suppress the terrorists also on the ground at a time that suits us best,” he told lawmakers from his party, the AKP.

Ankara launched Operation Sword-Claw, a series of airstrikes followed by sustained artillery fire on positions of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and People's Protection Units (YPG) over the weekend.

< p class="paragraph">Turkey accuses these two movements – which deny the accusations – of ordering the attack that killed six people and injured 81 on November 13 in Istanbul, and threatens to launch a ground operation in the north of Syria to protect its southern border.

For its part, the OSDH said the attacks killed around 40 people.

On Tuesday Turkish artillery shelling at night focused on the iconic city of Kobane, according to the OSDH.

Kobane, a YPG stronghold that had been occupied by state jihadists Islamic State (IS) in 2014, it was recaptured by Kurdish militias in 2015 with Western support.

(With information from AFP)

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