Beirut, Irbil – A Turkish-Kurdish dispute intensified Tuesday on the eve of preparations launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ahead of entering the city Raqqa, ISIS’ stronghold in northern Syria.
On Tuesday, Ankara launched dozens of airstrikes on Kurdish positions in both Syria and Iraq.
The Turkish aerial attacks targeted a media center owned by Kurdish forces and a local radio station, the ”Voice of Rojava FM,” in the area of Qoreh Job, in the east of the Hasaka province, killing 15 members from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in addition to three workers from the media center.
Other airstrikes targeted Kurdish fighters in Sinjar, northern Iraq, where Peshmerga forces announced the killing of six of their members.
A YPG senior member told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We are now waiting for a decisive position from the US and the Coalition forces.”
Experts said the Turkish airstrikes would embarrass Washington, which expressed on Tuesday its “deep concern,” saying that the Turkish air raids “were not approved” by the Coalition.
Commenting on the Turkish aerial attacks, diplomatic sources in Ankara told Asharq Al-Awsat that they “were ordered following lengthy talks between the political and military wings, and also following discussions held more than once during meetings and conversations conducted by Turkish officials with their US and Russian counterparts.”
The source said that attacking the Sinjar Mountain was a “message stipulating that Turkey could launch operations at any time to stop the threats of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its expansion in Syria and Iraq and that Ankara was using its self-defense right to protect its national security from ISIS and Kurdish menaces.”
Earlier, a report published by Turkey’s Hurriyet newspaper said that the Turkish army has a plan in Sinjar.
Separately, Syria’s regime forces launched Tuesday sequential airstrikes on several positions in Deraa, signaling the start of a fresh escalation in the area.