Turkey’s artillery on Saturday shelled areas controlled by Kurdish fighters in Syria’s northern province of Aleppo.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Turkish bombs hit areas of Aleppo, including Minnigh, which was recently recaptured by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) forces from Daesh Takfiri terrorists.
Ankara accuses Syrian Kurdish group Democratic Union Party, also known as the PYD, and its military wing the YPG of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group that has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.
According to YPG sources, the shelling struck the strategic Minnigh military airport.
The development came after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in a televised speech Saturday threatened military action against Syrian Kurdish fighters, saying, “We can, if necessary, take the same measures in Syria as we took in Iraq and Qandil.”
The Turkish army launched airstrikes against the PKK positions in northern Iraq on their Qandil mountain stronghold and Turkey as well as purported Daesh targets in Syria in 2015. Elsewhere in his comments the Turkish premier stated, “The leadership cadre and ideology of the PKK and PYD is the same.” In an apparent reference to the US policies and recent comments by US State Department spokesman John Kirby that Washington does not consider the PYD as a terror group and would continue to support its operations in Syria, Davutoglu said, “Those who say that they are not terror groups either do not know the region or have bad intentions.”
Kurdish groups like the PYD and its military wing, the YPG, have been making advances in the campaign against the Daesh terrorists inside Syria.
The Turkish prime minister, meanwhile, said Ankara would soon send documentation to the US “to show that the PYD is a branch of the PKK.” The US and the European Union recognize the PKK as a terror group.
Also on Saturday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey and Saudi Arabia could launch a ground operation in Syria.