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YPG shells Turkish town, killing two police officers

Members of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continue operations against the PKK, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, within Turkey's Operation Peace Spring in Ras Al Ayn, Syria on 17 October 2019. [TURKISH ARMED FORCES / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]
Members of Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) continue operations against the PKK, and the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia on 17 October 2019. [TURKISH ARMED FORCES / HANDOUT - Anadolu Agency]

The Syrian Kurdish militia of the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) attacked a nearby Turkish town with cross-border shelling, killing two Turkish police officers and wounding two others.

In the attack from the town of Azaz in northern Syria, the YPG reportedly fired five artillery shots towards the town of Karkamis in Gaziantep province, on the Turkish side of the border.

According to Turkey's Ihlas News Agency (IHA), two of the shells struck a customs area, one landed on the roof of a home, one fell near the military compound and the last fell in a park located in the town centre.

As a result of the shelling, one police officer was immediately killed and three others wounded, with one of these later succumbing to his wounds.

Following the attack, Turkish security forces were reported to have retaliated on the YPG positions "in line with the rules of engagement."

READ: US' support for Kurdish groups is biggest problem for Turkey, DM says

Throughout the years of the ongoing decade-long Syrian conflict, the Kurdish militias in Syria, such as the YPG and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), have been a major concern for Turkey, which regards them as Syrian branches of the designated terrorist organisation the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

The presence of those militias in the border region has led Ankara to conduct three major military operations into northern Syria—'Euphrates Shield' in 2016, 'Olive Branch' in 2018 and 'Spring Shield' in 2020—to clear the groups from the areas and protect Turkey's national security.

Over the years, accidental cross-border shelling into Turkey during the conflict has also been a regular occurrence. Despite Azaz being under the control of the Turkish-backed Syrian opposition, there are reported to be elements of the YPG remaining in the town and surrounding areas.

READ: Turkey president: US is sending weapons to terrorist groups in Syria

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Europe & RussiaMiddle EastNewsSyriaTurkey
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