Two Kurdish Anti-Terror Unit (YAT) fighters were killed and three others were wounded following a Turkish airstrike that targeted a joint Syrian Democratic Forces-Global Coalition against Daesh base near Qamishli, Syria.
The United States Central Command (CENTCOM) told VOA News that “While no US Forces were on the base at the moment of this morning’s strike, these actions do place US troops operating in Syria to defeat ISIS at risk.”
— Mutlu Civiroglu (@mutludc) November 22, 2022
Likewise, Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve, the United States-led operation against the Islamic State, tweeted out that “The Coalition urges for de-escalation in Syria. These strikes jeopardize the safety of civilians, fracture the hard-fought stability within the region and disrupt our common goal of defeating ISIS.”
Turkey has ramped up airstrikes targeting Kurdish positions in Iraq and Syria in an operation coined “Claw-Sword,” which their Ministry of Defense describes as “the largest, most comprehensive and most effective air operation” against Kurdish forces “in the recent period.” The Ministry reported that strikes were carried out against 89 targets in recent days that they say are “used as a base by terrorists in their attacks on our country.” Kurdish officials and local human rights groups say the strikes have targeted and killed civilians.
— MedyaNews (@medyanews_) November 22, 2022
Renewed targeting of Kurdish positions comes in the aftermath of the November 13 Istanbul bombing, which left six dead and 80 wounded. Turkish authorities have accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) of carrying out the attack and had pledged revenge. The PKK has denied involvement, further accusing Turkey of using the incident as a pretext for more military operations against the Kurds. Turkey considers the PKK, YPG, and SDF to be one in the same and denotes all armed Kurdish groups as terrorist organizations.
On Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also suggested a renewed ground force operation against the Kurds in northern Syria, stating that “We have been on top of the terrorists for the past few days with our planes, artillery and drones. As soon as possible, we will root out all of them together with our tanks and soldiers.”