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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Turkey's military kills 15 Kurdish YPG militants in northeast Syria

Iran Press TV

Sunday, 27 December 2020 5:39 PM

The Turkish military has killed at least 15 Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) amid reports that the group was planning to carry out an attack in a territory controlled by Ankara-backed occupying forces in northeastern Syria.

In a post on Twitter on Sunday, Turkey's Defense Ministry said that the Kurdish YPG militants were trying to invade a 120-km (75-mile) stretch of border territory which Turkish troops and their allied militants seized in the so-called Peace Spring Operation last year.

"Our heroic commandos dealt another heavy blow to the PKK/YPG terrorist organization. Fifteen PKK/YPG terrorists trying to infiltrate the Peace Spring region from the south to carry out an attack were neutralized with the successful intervention of our commandos," the ministry said.

Turkey views the US-backed YPG as a terrorist organization tied to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been seeking an autonomous Kurdish region in Turkey since 1984.

On October 9, 2019, Turkey launched a cross-border invasion of northeastern Syria in an attempt to push Kurdish militants affiliated with the YPG away from its borders.

Two weeks later, Russia and Turkey, signed a memorandum of understanding that forced the YPG militants to withdraw from the Turkish-controlled "safe zone" in northeastern Syria, after which Ankara and Moscow began joint patrols around the area.

Turkey has since wrested control of several areas in northern Syria in addition to other Kurdish-controlled areas.

Damascus views the Turkish military presence on Syrian soil as an attack on the Arab country's sovereignty.

Ankara has been providing support to militants operating to topple the Damascus government since early 2011.

The YPG constitutes the backbone of the Kurdish-dominated so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The White House has long been providing the SDF with arms and militant training, calling them a key partner in the purported fight against Daesh. Many observers see the support in the context of Washington's plans to carve out a foothold in Syria.

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