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Iran Press TV

Syria Kurds say Turkish airstrike kills 9 civilians

Iran Press TV

Thu Sep 29, 2016 7:23AM

Turkish forces have killed at least nine civilians in a Syrian border town as Ankara expands its military intervention in the Arab country.

Eyewitnesses told the independent Syrian ARA News agency on Wednesday that six children and three women lost their lives in a Turkish bombing of the Kurdish-populated town of Kahila.

They said the airstrike hit a residential area of the town, leaving more than a dozen others injured.

Kahila is near the Syrian border town of Tel Abyad which is located 100 kilometers north of Raqqah, the de facto capital of the Daesh terrorist group.

Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a US-backed militant group in Syria, condemned the bombing, saying Turkish forces "are targeting innocent civilians under the pretext of combating terrorism."

"However, we'll not allow Turkey to continue those violations at the border. We are ready to respond and we'll do whatever it takes in order to stop this offensive against our people," YPG said in a statement.

The YPG statement said Ankara is targeting Kurdish areas in northern Syria "to undermine the Kurdish progress" against Daesh militants.

Ankara views YPG and its allied Democratic Union Party (PYD) as terrorist forces linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated regions for decades.

YPG fighters recaptured the strategic city of Tel Abyad in June 2015. The strategic town is situated on the road between Syria and Turkey, which was used to send supplies and forces to anti-Damascus militants fighting in Syria.

Since its liberation, Tel Abyad has been under attack by both Daesh militants and Turkish forces, according to Kurdish sources.

Turkey is supporting Daesh to retake Tel Abyad and its border crossing to help "the terror group export its oil to the black market via Turkey," Habun Osman from YPG told ARA News.

"Before the YPG-SDF forces retook Tel Abyad from ISIS [Daesh] in early 2015, the terror group used to export its oil tankers through this border crossing to the black market," he said.

"When ISIS [Daesh] was in control here, Turkey never attacked the group's positions. Now that Tel Abyad is under the Kurdish control, the Turkish army continues to attack the area," the YPG official said.

Earlier this month, Turkish troops entered the Syrian territory in a sudden incursion which resulted in the occupation of Jarablus after Daesh left the city without resistance.

On Sunday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Turkey was planning to send troops deeper into Syrian territory to establish what it calls a safe zone.

"Initially, we may move at least 45 kilometers down and we must move further down in order to seal off the Manbij region. Then, a 5,000-kilometer de facto safe zone can be established," he told English-language France 24 television.

Manbij in northern Syria near the border with Turkey is currently controlled by US-backed Kurdish militants who captured it in August after Daesh terrorists left it.

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