Turkey’s Claw-Sword operation kills 15 in Rojava

SULAIMANI, Kurdistan Region – Turkish operations in Rojava killed at least 15 in Hasaka and Raqqa provinces and injured 30 others early Sunday, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR).

According to SOHR, 25 Turkish air strikes on Rojava have killed nine fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and six soldiers from the Syrian Regime.

Turkish air strikes on Rojava killed journalist Essam Abdullah, a reporter for the Kurdish-affiliated media Hawar News Agency (ANHA) in the town of Derik.

In a statement issued on Sunday, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said that it had launched a new operation in Rojava (northeast Syria) and the Kurdistan Region, targeting Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and People’s Defense Units (YPG) bases.

According to Turkey, the Claw-Sword operation targeted various areas in Rojava, including Kobane, Derik, Zirgan and Shehba.

In Erbil province, however, different areas, including the mountainous areas of Warte sub-district and the surroundings of Balisan sub-district, were hit by airstrikes on Sunday. No casualties have been reported in the Region.

Mazloum Abdi, the top commander of the Kurdish-led SDF, described the Turkish bombing of Rojava safe areas as a “threat to the whole region” and called on its people to remain indoors.

Salih Muslim Co-chair of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) told the PKK-affiliated Firat News Agency (ANF) “the Turkish fascism is on the verge of death” and has started to “follow the methods of ISIS” to attack the Kurdish people, adding that the only solution against “fascism” is self-defense.

Luqman Ehme, spokesperson for the Northern and Eastern Syria Autonomous Administration, told ANF the Turkish attacks on Rojava are intended to “protect and reorganize ISIS” sleeper cells in the region.

“The Turkish state can survive with the presence of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra, (also known as the Nusra Front), but it cannot sustain with normal systems,” added Ehme.

The Turkish operation follows an attack on Istanbul’s crowded Istiklal Avenue last Sunday that killed six and injured 81.

The Turkish government said the attack was carried out by the PKK/YPG. However, both denied the accusations.

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