Turk­ish sol­dier killed in Syria at­tack

The Myanmar Times - - World -

TURKEY has said the mil­i­tary suf­fered its first fatal­ity in an un­prece­dented four-day cam­paign in­side Syria, blam­ing Kur­dish mili­tia in an in­creas­ingly com­bustible con­test for con­trol in the border re­gion.

The Turk­ish army on Au­gust 24 launched the two-pronged cross border of­fen­sive against Is­lamic State (IS) ji­hadists but also Syr­ian Kur­dish mili­tia de­tested by Ankara, send­ing in dozens of tanks and troops.

Ten­sions be­tween Ankara and the Kur­dish mili­tia flared on Au­gust 27, with clashes tak­ing place 8 kilo­me­tres (5 miles) south of the town of Jarab­u­lus, the border town re­cap­tured from the IS by Turk­ish-backed Syr­ian rebels, a mon­i­tor­ing group said.

Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency said one sol­dier was killed and three more wounded in a rocket at­tack by Kur­dish mili­tia on two tanks tak­ing part in the of­fen­sive.

The rocket fire came from mem­bers of the Kur­dish Demo­cratic Union Party (PYD), Anadolu said. Turkey con­sid­ers the PYD and its Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG) mili­tia to be ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tions.

Pro-Kur­dish fight­ers said Turkey had for the first time car­ried out air strikes on its po­si­tions.

“With this lat­est ag­gres­sion, a new con­flict pe­riod will be­gin in the re­gion,” said the Jarab­u­lus Mil­i­tary Coun­cil, which is linked to the Kur­dish-dom­i­nated Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces (SDF).

The fight­ing in­di­cates Turkey is en­ter­ing into a new and more dan­ger­ous phase in Syria four days into op­er­a­tion “Euphrates Shield”.

Turkey fiercely op­poses moves by the YPG – which it re­gards as the Syr­ian branch of the out­lawed Kur­dis­tan Work­ers Party (PKK) – to ex­pand into ter­ri­tory lost by the IS. –

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