Turkey said on Sunday its military killed 15 militants from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia. In which it said was preparing to hold out an attack in a region of northeast Syria controlled by Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies.
In an offensive last year dubbed the Peace Spring Operation, Turkey seized a 120-km (75-mile) stretch of border territory in northeast Syria from the YPG. Which it considers a terrorist organization linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militia.
“Our heroic commandos dealt another heavy blow to the PKK/YPG terrorist organization. Our commandos successfully neutralized fifteen PKK/YPG terrorists, Which are trying to infiltrate the Peace Spring region from the south to hold out an attack,” Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Twitter.
Turkey halted its offensive, which Ankara’s Western Allies condemned. This is because the YPG was a key U.S. ally within the fight against Islamic State. After striking deals with Russia and also the US.
Moscow has said the YPG withdrew to a minimum of 30 km (18 miles) from Turkey’s border. However, Ankara has been skeptical and held out the likelihood of new attacks if militants remain. U.S. support for the YPG has been among the main issues between Ankara and Washington, NATO allies.
Turkey backs rebels looking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, while Russia and Iran support Assad’s forces. Since 2016, Turkey has seized swathes of northern Syria in four cross-border offensives to fight down Islamic State. Therefore the YPG, and forestall a fresh influx of migrants from Syria.
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