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Turkish Military Confirms Airstrikes Against Kurdish YPG in Northern Syria, Iraq

© AP Photo / Anatolia, Kenan GurbuzA Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet
A Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jet - Sputnik International
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Turkey's General Staff on Tuesday confirmed jets struck Kurdish militias positioned in northern Syria and Iraq.

ANKARA (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) said Turkish planes carried out a large-scale attack on its headquarters in northeast Syria near the town of Derik in the Qerecox mountains, targeting a media center, a local radio station and some military buildings as well as killing several YPG members. Kurdish media also said Iraq's town of Sinjar was hit by Turkish jets, with over a dozen Peshmerga troops killed. Turkey was said to have targeted a Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) base in the region.

"Iraqi Sinjar and Syria's Qerecox have become a layer for the PKK and its affiliates, which are carrying out terrorist attacks and are attacking our troops [and] civilians. Aiming to wipe out these havens that are threatening the unity of our nation and the unity and security of the country, we carried out an aerial operation in Sinjar in the north of Iraq and in northeast Syria at 00:00 GMT on April 25. Terrorist targets were hit," the General Staff said in a statement.

Turkish forces will continue fighting terrorism both inside the country and beyond its borders, the statement added.

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Turkey considers the YPG to be an affiliate of the PKK, an insurgent group seeking independence for Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast.

Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Ankara and the PKK collapsed after a series of terror attacks allegedly committed by PKK members. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has repeatedly said the Turkish forces will prevent PKK militants from securing a base in Sinjar. The PKK already has a base located in the Qandil mountains of northern Iraq. The standoff then spread into Syria, with Turkish forces hitting the YPG a number of times since the start of the Euphrates Shield operation, without having received consent from Damascus.

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