Syrian Kurds Report Clashes With Turkey Around Afrin

Artillery and Rocket Fire Reported

A spokesman for the YPG, the main Kurdish faction in Syria, reported a new round of clashes today around the Afrin District,with Turkish military forces and their rebel allies attacking the towns of Tal Rifaat and Sheikh Issa.

The YPG said that the attacks came in the form of both artillery shelling and rocket fire, killing two people. The Kurdish forces responded with artillery strikes of their own, though there have been no official reports from the Turkish military on casualties on their side.

It’s also not clear from the YPG statements whether their retaliation hit Turkish targets in northern Syria, or across the border in southern Turkey. Afrin is the YPG’s westernmost possession, and is cut off from the rest of their Rojava territory by broad swathe of Aleppo Province occupied by Turkey.

YPG commanders in the eastern territory, on the other side of the Euphrates, have called for offensives against Turkey to “liberate” Aleppo, which is to say liberate it into Kurdish hands, aiming to connect Afrin and the rest of their territory with a contiguous land route, that would cover much of Turkey’s border with Syria.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.