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Locked [News] Turkish consultations to launch a ground operation in northern Syria and Iraq, and the Kurdish units vow to respond


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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today, Monday, that his country will hold discussions regarding the participation of ground forces in the military operation in northern Syria and Iraq, at a time when Turkish lands were subjected to new shelling by the Kurdish units yesterday evening.




Turkish media quoted Erdogan as saying that his country's military operations in northern Syria and Iraq will not be limited to an air campaign only, adding that the Turkish General Staff and the Ministry of Defense will jointly decide on the participation of ground forces.

The Turkish president also confirmed that Ankara did not hold talks with the US and Russian presidents regarding the air military operation.

More than 70 air vehicles, including fighter jets and unmanned aerial vehicles equipped with weapons, participated in the operation, which Turkey called "Claw-Sword".

And the Turkish Ministry of Defense announced that Turkish planes carried out air strikes on Kurdish militia bases in northern Syria and Iraq on Sunday, destroying 89 targets in response to a bombing in Istanbul that killed 6 people and left dozens wounded.

Yesterday evening, the ministry published new scenes from the air operation conducted by the Turkish forces against targets of the PKK and the Kurdish People's Protection Units.

And it appears in the scenes, which were posted on Twitter, that Turkish fighters took off from their bases and bombed sites belonging to what the ministry described as "terrorists".

The ministry attached its tweet with the phrase, "This is how the shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots, and the so-called headquarters and training camps of the terrorists who threaten our country, our people, and the security of our borders, were destroyed."

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said that the air strikes carried out by the Turkish forces on sites in the "Ain al-Arab" region in northeastern Syria and in northern Iraq succeeded in destroying the sites and headquarters of the PKK militants and the Kurdish People's Protection Units.

The Turkish Ministry of Defense also announced that its operation is based on Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, which provides for the legitimate right to self-defense.

Kurdish bombing
On the other hand, Anadolu Agency said that an attack with 4 projectiles took place in the Qaraqamish district of Gaziantep, southern Turkey. The agency added that these shells, which were fired by the Kurdish units, came from northern Syria and hit empty, uninhabited areas.

For his part, the governor of Gaziantep, Daoud Gul, said that what he described as terrorists fired shells from east of the Euphrates River.

He added, in a tweet on Twitter, that the Turkish forces responded in kind to the sources of fire, stressing that the "terrorist attacks" did not cause any material or human losses.

Turkish official media had said earlier that a missile attack on the "Ongo Pinar" border crossing, opposite the Syrian "Bab al-Salama" crossing, injured 8 people, including a Turkish soldier and two policemen from special operations.

The sources added that the Kurdish People's Protection Units, which Turkey classifies as a "terrorist organization", fired a missile at the area in Kilis, southern Turkey.

Target Bank
The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced earlier a bank of various targets bombed by the army in northern Syria and Iraq, stressing that they are military sites of what it called "terrorist organizations" in response to the bloody bombing on Istiklal Street in Istanbul last week.

Media sources indicated that the targets are military sites of what is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces in Tal Rifaat and Ain Digna in the countryside of Aleppo, north of Ain Issa in the countryside of Raqqa, and areas in al-Hasakah and Ain al-Arab Kobani on the Syrian-Turkish border.

While Reuters quoted a spokesman for what is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, that Turkish planes bombed two villages inhabited by the displaced in northern Syria.

It also announced the death of one of its fighters, 11 civilians and 15 of the Syrian regime forces, while the Syrian Observatory reported the death of 30 people, including 18 members of what is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Kurdish security forces and other armed groups affiliated to them, in addition to 12 of the regime forces.

As for the official Syrian News Agency, it reported the killing of soldiers, whose number was not specified, as a result of Turkish attacks, which it said targeted sites in the countryside of Aleppo and Hasakah.

The Turkish attacks also targeted - according to statements by what is known as the Syrian Democratic Forces - the regions of Sinjar, Karakouk, Qandil and Assos in northern Iraq.

The Turkish strikes in Iraq did not result in any civilian deaths, according to an official in Iraqi Kurdistan, explaining that the bombing targeted at least 8 areas where PKK sites are located in Sinjar and the Qandil Mountains, where the largest bases of the PKK are located.

These field developments come as the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces vowed to respond to the air strikes launched by Turkey on its sites.



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