Turkish Army, Syrian Kurds Trade Artillery Fire Across Border

Kurds Target Border Posts After Yesterday's Airstrikes

Fighting is growing along the border between Turkey and Syria today, as following yesterday’s major Turkish airstrikes against Kurdish targets, the two sides are now trading artillery fire back and forth in the area.

Turkey reported four of their army outposts along the border came under attack from artillery and mortar fire, though they denied any casualties were inflicted. They responded by carrying out heavy artillery strikes against the Kurdish town of Darbasiya.

The Syrian Kurdish faction, the YPG, is a close ally of the United States, and has been heavily armed by them with an eye toward using them to fight against ISIS. Turkey has long insisted the YPG are “terrorists” and condemned the US for providing such arms.

Turkey had been eying attacks against the YPG since their invasion of Syria last August, and this appears to be the beginning of increased military hostilities between the two sides. This could greatly complicate US support for both sides, and the Kurds having to shift toward resisting Turkish incursions would likely derail their planned invasion of the ISIS capital of Raqqa.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.