Turkey’s interior minister on Monday said that three people were killed after rockets hit the Turkish district of Karkamis, near the Syrian border, in an attack likely carried out by Kurdish militants.
The rocket attack came a day after Turkey launched massive airstrikes in northern Iraq and Syria against Kurdish groups for their alleged role in a recent bombing in Istanbul. Dozens were reported killed in the strikes, including members of the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF.
According to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), the SDF fired rockets into Karkamis on Monday from a Syrian border town. The group hasn’t taken credit for the attacks but did vow to take action in response to Turkey’s airstrikes.
The SOHR said there were more Turkish airstrikes on Monday, but they haven’t been confirmed by Ankara. According to The Associated Press, the Turkish Defense Ministry did confirm that it launched fresh artillery strikes.
The rocket attacks are a sign that Turkey’s operations in the region will continue, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has signaled that he is preparing a ground offensive. “There is no question that this operation be limited to only an aerial operation,” he told reporters on Sunday.
“How many troops from the Land Forces should be involved here will be decided together by our relevant units, our Defense Ministry, and General Staff. We do our consultation, and then we will take our steps accordingly,” Erdogan added.
Turkish officials have accused the US of complicity in the Istanbul bombing for backing the SDF in northeast Syria. Fahrettin Altun, Turkey’s communications director, blamed Western support for the Kurdish groups for Monday’s rocket attacks.
“These attacks show once again that the Western support for this terror group in the name of fighting other terror groups like ISIS is a total failure. You cannot fight terrorists with terrorists,” Altun wrote on Twitter.