YPG rocket attack wounds 8 security personnel in Türkiye’s southeast

At least eight Turkish security personnel, including seven police officers and one soldier, were wounded on Sunday evening in an apparent rocket attack on Türkiye’s southeastern region near a border gate into northern Syria, Turkish authorities reported.

The rocket fired by members of the PKK/YPG terrorist group in Syria’s Tal Rifat hit a Police Special Operations station located at the Öncüpınar border gate in the Kilis province.

One police commissioner and six police personnel were among the wounded members of the police, the Interior Ministry said.

Ambulances and security forces were dispatched to the Kilis border following the attack. Bomb disposal experts too were deployed to investigate the scene.

Kilis Governor Recep Soytürk later visited the wounded personnel at the hospital.

Separately, PKK/YPG terrorists fired four more rockets into the Karkamış district in the southeastern Gaziantep province, which sits nearly 100 kilometers (nearly 63 miles) north of Syria’s Aleppo province.

The rockets fell into an empty area, however, the Turkish authorities informed.

The terrorist group PKK and its Syrian offshoot YPG have illegal hideouts across the border in northern Syria, a region partially under opposition control and partly under terrorist control, from where they plan and mount attacks against Türkiye.

Yesterday’s attacks came mere hours after the U.S.-backed YPG threatened Türkiye for launching an aerial operation against the terrorist groups in northern Syria and Iraq earlier in the day.

“These attacks will not go unanswered,” the PKK/YPG had said in its statement when Türkiye kicked off Operation Claw-Sword to eradicate terrorist hideouts in the region and struck at least 89 targets and eliminated the so-called leaders of the terrorist group during air raids.

“With the Operation Claw-Sword, 89 terror targets, 81 targets in the first stage and eight others this morning, including shelters, bunkers, caves, tunnels, ammunition depots, and so-called headquarters and training camps belonging to terrorists, who threaten our country, nation and border security, were destroyed,” the Defense Ministry announced.

The counteroffensive was aimed at blocking terrorist attacks against Turkish people and security forces from the region and ensuring Türkiye’s border safety, the ministry said.

It stressed Türkiye would continue the fight against terrorism for the security of the country and nation “with determination until the last terrorist is eliminated.”

Operation Claw-Sword followed the Nov. 14 terrorist attack on Istanbul’s bustling Istiklal Street that killed at least 6 and left 81 injured for which Ankara said the PKK/YPG was responsible.

The PKK is a designated terrorist organization in the United States, Türkiye and the European Union and Washington’s support for its Syrian affiliate has been a major strain on bilateral relations with Ankara. The YPG has controlled much of northeastern Syria after the forces of Syrian regime leader Bashar Assad withdrew in 2012. The U.S. primarily partnered with YPG terrorists in northeastern Syria in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group. On the other hand, Türkiye strongly opposed the YPG’s presence in northern Syria.

Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the U.S. has provided military training and given truckloads of military support to the YPG, despite its NATO ally’s security concerns. Underlining that one cannot support one terrorist group to defeat another, Türkiye conducted its counterterrorism operations, throughout which it has managed to remove a significant number of terrorists from the region.

Ankara has launched several cross-border operations into Syria since 2016 and controls some territories in the north with the goal of pushing away the YPG and establishing a 30-kilometer-deep safe zone. Since 2016, Türkiye has launched a trio of successful counterterrorism operations across its border in northern Syria to prevent the formation of a terror corridor and enable the peaceful settlement of residents: Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018) and Peace Spring (2019).

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