Turkey targets Kurdish militias in north-east Syria

DAMASCUS/ISTANBUL, dpa correspondents (dpa)– Turkey's armed forces targeted Kurdish militias in a north-eastern Syrian town near the Turkish border on Saturday in retaliation for alleged mortar attacks and gunfire, Defence Ministry said.
The ministry said the alleged attacks were carried out by the banned Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and the People's Protection Units (YPG). Ankara considers the YPG in Syria to be linked to the PKK, designated a terrorist group and waging insurgency in Turkey.

"Within the scope of self-defense, the required response was given to the harassment/attacks that the terrorist organization PKK/YPG carried out with mortars and artillery shots against our elements in the south of Tal Abyad," the ministry wrote on Twitter.
Tal Abyad has been rocked by at least three deadly bombings since Turkey and its allied Syrian rebels seized the town in October. Turkey paused its offensive following two ceasefire deals, first with the United States and then with Russia.
Earlier on Saturday, a car bombing in Tal Abyad killed at least nine people, including four civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Twenty-two others were injured in the blast in the north-eastern town of Tal Abyad, which is controlled by Turkish forces and allied Syrian rebels, the war monitor said.
No one has claimed responsibility for the blast. Turkey-backed rebels blamed the attack on the YPG.
"Today's explosion bears the fingerprints of the YPG. In typical fashion, the explosives-packed car was placed on a main street and blown up by remote control," a commander in the rebel National Army faction told dpa.
Turkey earlier threatened to resume its offensive in north-eastern Syria unless Moscow and Washington manages to force the militias to vacate the border zone as agreed.

Sunday, November 24th 2019
dpa correspondents (dpa)

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