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People's Daily Online

Turkish artillery keeps pounding Kurdish areas in northern Syria

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 21:06, February 14, 2016

DAMASCUS, Feb. 14 -- The Turkish artillery continued to shell Kurdish areas in northern Syriafor the second straight day on Sunday, killing and wounding nine fighters of a Kurdish group, a monitor group reported.

Two fighters with the Kurdish-backed Syrian Democratic Force, a new rebel alliance constituting of Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters and supported by the West, were killed and seven others wounded by the Turkish shelling that targeted the positions of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's northern province of Aleppo, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The Uk-based watchdog group said the Turkish artillery fired at the Kurdish positions in the Minnegh airbase, the town of Afrin and near Azaz in northern Aleppo near the Syrian-Turkish borders.

Meanwhile, the YPG and the PYD, the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, rejected the Turkish claims that the shelling came in retaliation to a fire against Turkey from YPG positions.

Moreover, the Kurdish fighters made it clear that they reject the Turkish demand to withdraw from the Minnegh airbase and the vicinity of Azaz.

They further warned that they will confront any military intervention from Turkey, according to Salih Muslim, the PYD leader, who was cited by Kurdish media as saying Sunday.

A day earlier, the Turkish artillery started pounding the Kurdish position in northern Syria, just hours after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on that Turkey, 'if necessary,' will take military actions against the Kurds in Syria.

In a televised speech, Davutloglu said 'we would expect our friends and allies to stand by us.'

The Kurds have been Ankara's worst nightmare, especially after they have made notable gains in northern Syria, something Turkey apparently cannot accept.

Turkish officials have repeatedly said that they will not allow the Kurds in Syria to expand more near the Turkish border.

The recent escalation also came as the talks about a ground intervention by Saudi and Turkey troops in Syria have made headlines in recent days.

Such an intervention will spark extra chaos in the already war-torn country, particularly after Syria's Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said any foreign troops entering Syria without the consent of the Syrian government 'will be sent home in wooden coffins.'



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