Syrian military retaliates against Turkish airstrikes

TEHRAN, Aug. 17 (MNA) – Turkish positions inside Syria have been targeted by the Syrian military following two bouts of airstrikes by Turkey that targeted separate locations across the Arab country.

The Syrian armed forces carried out the counterattack on Tuesday, causing material and human losses in some Turkish military sites inside Syria, Syrian state media reported. The army also targeted the positions of some armed groups and damaged their training centers.

The reprisal came after a Turkish airstrike killed at least three Syrian soldiers and wounded six others near the western Syrian city of Aleppo.

Syria’s state television specified the target of the Turkish blitz as “military positions,” saying the Turkish warplanes had struck the target between 14:37 p.m. and 15:00 p.m. local time (11:37 and 12:00 GMT).

Earlier in the day, a Turkish aerial offensive had claimed the lives of at least 11 people in the war-torn country’s Kurdish-majority north.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a UK-based so-called monitor, described the fatalities as "fighters," saying the deaths were caused after Turkish aircraft hit an outpost in the village of Jarqali, west of the Kurdish-held border town of Kobani, Press TV reported.

The monitor failed to specify whether those who had been killed were affiliated with the Syrian army or Kurdish militants.

Since 2016, Turkey has launched three military operations inside Syria to target the United States-backed militants, known as the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). Ankara accuses the YPG of being associated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting a separatist war against Ankara for decades.

The Turkish military’s presence and operations violate the Arab country's sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and other senior officials have said Damascus reserved the right to respond to Turkey's ongoing offensive through all legitimate means available.

Meanwhile, the Turkish army asked the citizens to stay in their homes in the cities bordering Syria in preparation for the start of Turkey's attack on Syrian lands.

The Turkish army has increased its attacks on Syrian border towns in recent days.

Simultaneously, the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) Representative in the United States, Bassam Saker, told Sputnik that they have been reassured by both Russia and the United States last week that there will be no Turkish military operation in the area.

"We had meetings at the State Department last week and with the Russians also. They denied that there is any green light from them to do that," Saker said. "But we know that [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan can do it and he does not care sometimes about this issue. We are ready to defend ourselves. There is also an agreement with the Syrian government for military defense."

Saker added that the SDC has continuous meetings with the State Department, Pentagon, Congress and all of them want the area to be stable and do not want the Turkish operation.

"They increase drone attacks more and more but there is no attack on the land, only by air. Even there are no fighters yet, only drones. And these drones are very risky," he added.


News Code 190328


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