Having confirmed the shelling on the positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), Ankara has called for the withdrawal of YPG forces from northern Syrian border regions.
“The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again,” said Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu during a live broadcast on Turkish TV on Saturday.
He also confirmed the shelling of positions recently retaken from the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group by the YPG affiliate the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), and added that they were carried out as “retaliation” and were “within the framework of the rules of engagement.”
Davutoglu added that Turkey would “retaliate against every step” made by the group.
Earlier, the so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that the strategic Minnigh military airport and a village in the northwestern province of Aleppo had been shelled by Turkey.
Ankara considers the PYD as an ally of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which it has been battling for months, but to the US, the group is seen as part of the fight against the Daesh terrorists.
Meanwhile, US State Department spokesman John Kirby called on Turkey to halt military strikes on the PYD.
“We are concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to de-escalate tensions on all sides,” he said.
Daesh terrorists, who have been wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq and miles further in Libya, were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government. Ankara has reportedly provided support for the Takfiri militants operating inside Syria.