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REFILE Turkey shells Kurdish militia posts in Syria's Afrin for second day

Europe
14.01.2018
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Istanbul (dpa) - Turkish forces stationed along the Syrian border have shelled the Kurdish-controlled northern Syrian town of Afrin for the second consecutive day, state-run news agency Anadolu reported Sunday.

Anadolu said that "heavy artillery fire" had targeted the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the main Syrian-Kurdish party, which dominates in areas across northern Syria.

Turkey says the PYD is linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers‘ Party (PKK), which it considers a terrorist organization.

The artillery fire on Afrin started on Saturday shortly after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to crush US-backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria in "less than a week" and called on them to surrender.

Ankara opposes the fact that the Syrian Kurds, backed by the United States in the fight against Islamic State, control territory along the countries‘ shared border and wants the militia sidelined.

Turkey controls about 2,000 square kilometres in northern Syria following a 2016 cross-border operation, the so-called Euphrates Shield, to tackle Islamic State and counter the Syrian Kurdish militia.

 

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