The Turkish Air Force conducted air strikes on Saturday night in an area in northern Syria owned by Kurdish militias, reports the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. It would be the first Turkish bombing in about seventeen months.
“A Turkish jet fighter attacked military positions of the Syrian Democratic Armed Forces (SDF, which are dominated by Kurds) in the village of Saida, near the city of Ain Issa,” said the human rights organisation. The attacks come as fights raging on the edge of this strategic place. Turkish troops would have a lot of trouble to advance.
The Kurdish militia YPG, which is part of the SDF, is seen by Ankara as an extension of the banned workers party PKK and thus as a terrorist organisation. But YPG has also played an important role in the armed fight against Islamic State (IS) in Syria, with the support of the international anti-jihadist coalition.
YPG units were expelled from part of Northern Syria in 2019, after Turkey started an offensive in October that year. However, Ain Issa and its surroundings remained in the hands of Kurdish troops.