Turkish airstrikes and Syrian rebel forces advance in Operation Euphrates Shield; A reported 25 killed with varied reports of higher casualties
Turkey carried out airstrikes on Syria Sunday morning, with a reported 25 killed in and surrounding the city of Jarablus. Various reports from media sources in Turkey and Syria have reported larger casualties, majority of which were Kurdish forces.
The strikes mark the fifth day of “Operation Euphrates Shield” which began Wednesday morning when Turkish tanks invaded Syria in a large-scale ground operation, alongside Syrian rebel forces. Turkey claims its motives are to combat the Islamic State while calling on Kurdish forces to withdraw from the region.
Turkey confirmed that they sent fighter jets that bombed a “Kurdish YPG militia site”, the Turkish military claiming it was targeting “terrorists” reporting that “five buildings used by the terrorists were also destroyed.” Turkey also reported that it had gained control of five additional villages outside of Jarablus.
Turkey continues to advance its offense on Syrian soil, moving west, targeting the Syrian Democratic Forces, the vast majority of which are YPG (The Kurdish People’s Protection Unit), with Syrian rebels carrying out ground operations Sunday morning on the village of al-Amarna, south of Jarablus, which was later hit by Turkish airstrikes.
Ahead of the weekend, Turkey’s Defense Minister Fikri Isik warned Kurdish forces that “Turkey will be following, moment by moment… If this withdrawal doesn’t happen, Turkey has every right to intervene.”