Four Turkish soldiers were wounded on Monday in a mortar attack launched by the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The mortar rounds were fired from Manbij onto the rural al-Bab territory where the Turkish Armed Forces are stationed.
The wounded soldiers, who are specialized sergeants from the Muş 49th Commando Brigade, were taken to the Çobanbey Sıhhi evacuation point on the border.
One of the wounded soldiers was brought to Gaziantep by helicopter, and the remaining three soldiers were taken to Kilis Public Hospital in two ambulances.
It was reported by the Turkish Armed Forces that targets belonging to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)-affiliated PYD terrorists were destroyed using heavy artillery.
The Turkish-led Operation Euphrates Shield, aided by the Free Syrian Army (FSA), was launched in late August to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the threat of terror along the Turkish-Syrian border.
PKK/PYD operates under US, Russian flags in Manbij against Turkey
The Kurdistan Workers' Party /Democratic Union Party PKK/PYD units are preparing to leave Syria's northern city of Manbij to the Bashar al-Assad regime in a calculated move against Turkey. Turkish armed forces are preparing to launch an offensive in Manbij against PKK/PYD elements in the town after clearing al-Bab of Daesh terrorists as a part of the ongoing Euphrates Shield operation. The PKK/PYD terrorists, who were seen carrying U.S. flags, were also recently seen carrying Russian flags. Conducting violent operations while flying the flags of the two countries would appear to show their tacit support for PKK/PYD terrorists in Syria. Lieutenant General Stephen Townsend reiterated the U.S. support for terrorists by stating that PKK/PYD is ready to go to war. Townsend also said that Turkish Armed Forces should be careful not to interrupt the planned Raqqa operation against Daesh.PKK/PYD to leave Manbij to Syrian regime: Russia The fall of Raqqa, Daesh's de facto capital and largest remaining stronghold, would be the biggest defeat for the terrorists in Syria since they captured the northern city on the banks of the Euphrates River in January 2014. President Donald Trump has vowed to "obliterate" the group. "We will work with our allies, including our friends and allies in the Muslim world, to extinguish this vile enemy from our planet," he told Congress on Tuesday. However, the details of Trump's anti-Daesh strategy will be revealed soon.Erdoğan: Manbij next target to clear out terrorists Meanwhile, Turkey expressed its determination to clear PKK/PYD from Syria's Manbij in a recent statement from President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, who said that Turkey's next move in Syria will be taking the Syrian cities of Manbij and Raqqa. Ankara has also expressed its frustrations regarding U.S. support of the PYD, which is a large faction of the Syrian Defense Force (SDF), all of which fight against Daesh. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and EU. Since Turkey considers the PYD to be a PKK affiliate, Ankara says Washington should not cooperate with it. A U.S. military officer was previously revealed giving the YPG and SDF a weapons shipment and talking about the upcoming Raqqa operation to oust Daesh from the city. During his visit, the U.S., YPG and SDF all agreed to concentrate on Manbij, where Turkish military-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters are set to conduct an operation to drive the PYD from the town.
Syria: Regime raids kill 9 in Idlib, Homs
At least nine civilians were killed and dozens injured in regime attacks on opposition-held areas in war-torn Syria on Saturday, according to a civil defense official and residents.A regime warplane struck residential areas in Al Dana town in the northwestern Idlib province, civil defense official Yahya Jawad told Anadolu Agency.“Eight people were killed and 15 others injured in the attack," he said.He said the airstrike has caused heavy damage in the area.Saeed Ali, a local resident, said many women and children were still trapped under the debris of destroyed buildings.“Efforts are underway to extract them from under the rubble," he said.Meanwhile, opposition spokesman in Homs Khalil Adel said one civilian was killed and 12 others were injured in a regime raid on the Homs neighborhood of Al-Waer in western Syria.Since civil war in Syria erupted in March 2011, more than 250,000 people have been killed, according to the UN. The Syrian Center for Policy Research puts the death toll at more than 470,000.The war has also left nearly half of the population displaced.
'PYD represents Kurds in Syria' a huge lie: Turkish Defense Minister
Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık on Saturday rejected all claims that PKK-affiliated PYD group represents Kurdish people in Syria, calling the claims as "a huge lie". Speaking to reporters in the northwestern province of Kocaeli, Işık said Turkey was aware of the efforts of the PYD to create territorial sovereignty in the region, and would not allow such a thing. "It is a huge lie that the PYD represents Kurds in the region. The most murderous acts against the Kurds in Syria are now committed by the PYD," Isik said. According to Isik, the PYD is hostile to any Kurdish group that refuses to join its forces, sometimes even killing them. "This should especially be underlined because the attitude of Turkey is not against the Kurds [in the region]," he said. The PYD is a Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and U.S. While Turkey considers PYD/YPG as Syrian affiliates of the PKK, neither the EU nor the U.S. regard the groups as its offshoots.Turkey-backed forces have killed more than 3,000 Daesh terrorists -- as well as some PKK/PYD elements -- in northern Syria under Operation Euphrates Shield, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.The Turkish government has long said it would not participate in any formation in the region where the PKK/PYD is included. Ankara has repeatedly said one terror group should not be used against another and urged the U.S.-led coalition to stop using the YPG to eliminate Daesh terrorists in the region.
US aware of Russian, Syrian aid convoy to Manbij
The U.S. is aware of a Syrian-Russian convoy that traveled to the northern city of Manbij, the Pentagon confirmed Friday. Spokesman Eric Pahon said Washington was informed by Russia of the vehicles' transit, through an established channel the countries use to avoid accidental clashes. The U.S. is "very closely tracking that Russian movement", he said, noting that the convoy, which predominantly carried aid, was accompanied by "heavy equipment" for force protection in the highly contested area. "It's a rapidly evolving situation and we're keeping an eye on it," said Pahon. "We don't want to cause any further instability in an already complicated battle space." The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of Manbij from Daesh in August with the support of coalition air cover, and on-the-ground trainers and advisers. The SDF is led by the YPG, a group the U.S. has consistently relied on as its principal partner in the anti-Daesh fight in northern Syria. Turkey has designated the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, also labeled by Turkey as a terrorist group. The U.S. and EU have similarly labeled the PKK, but has refrained from following suit on the YPG, vexing Ankara. Turkey has insisted YPG elements leave Manbij and withdraw east of the Euphrates River. Russian Lt. Gen. Sergey Rudskoy said earlier Friday the Syrian army would reach Manbij, and the YPG will leave the northern Syrian city to the Bashar al-Assad regime. Rudskoy also said the Syrian government would administer state affairs in Manbij and the surrounding areas starting Friday. The Pentagon said it has not been notified of such an agreement.