Reuters - Duvar English
Turkey said a Kurdish militia killed two people in mortar attacks from northern Syria on Nov. 21, in an escalation of cross-border retaliation following Turkish air operations at the weekend and a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul a week ago.
Turkey's armed forces said it was responding, and a senior security official told Reuters that Turkish jets had again started hitting targets in northern Syria.
In the latest in a quick series of tit-for-tat attacks, several mortar shells hit a border district in Turkey's Gaziantep province, leaving a child and a teacher among the dead and at least six wounded, said Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu said.
A pregnant woman initially reported as killed was badly wounded and is under treatment in hospital, Soylu said later.
Local governor Davut Gül said five rockets had hit a school, two houses and a truck near the Karkamış border area. Broadcaster CNN Türk said the attack was launched from Syria's Kobani area, controlled by the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.
Terör örgütü tarafından Fırat’ın doğusundan Karkamış ilçe merkezine 5 adat havan/roket atılmıştır.— Davut GÜL (@gul_davut) November 21, 2022
Sivil yerleşim merkezlerine isabet eden saldırıda;
2 hemşehrimiz vefat etmiştir.
2’si ağır olmak üzere 6 vatandaşımız yaralanmıştır.
Ayrıntılı bilgi daha sonra paylaşılacaktır.
Education Minister Mahmut Özer announced the closure for all schools in Karkamış district of the Gaziantep province, where the rockets hit.
CHP lawmaker Mahir Polat said that the child who was killed by the attack was his nephew.
Yüreğimiz yanıyor.— Mahir Polat (@vekilmahirpolat) November 21, 2022
Gaziantep'in Karkamış ilçesine hain terör örgütü tarafından düzenlenen roket saldırısında yeğenimiz Hasan Karataş hayatını kaybetti.
TERÖRE LANET OLSUN. pic.twitter.com/4lv5xfB8zU
The US Embassy in Turkey condemned the attack.
The U.S. Mission joins the people of Türkiye in mourning the three innocent lives lost today in Karkamis. We strongly condemn this violent and unjustified attack.— U.S. Embassy Türkiye (@USEmbassyTurkey) November 21, 2022
Turkish warplanes had already carried out strikes in Syria and Iraq on Nov. 20, destroying 89 targets linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the YPG, which Ankara says is a wing of the PKK.
Turkey said its weekend operation was in retaliation for the bomb attack in Istanbul last week that killed six people, and which authorities blamed on Kurdish militants.
The PKK and YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have denied involvement in the Nov. 13 bombing on a busy pedestrian avenue.
Washington has allied with the SDF in the fight against Islamic State in Syria, causing a deep and lasting rift with NATO ally Turkey.
A spokesman for the SDF had said the weekend Turkish strikes destroyed grain silos, a power station and a hospital, killing 11 civilians, an SDF fighter and two guards. It also said it would retaliate.
During the weekend violence, eight Turkish security personnel were wounded in YPG rocket attacks from Syria's Tal Rifat on a police post near a border gate in Kilis province, Ankara said.
On Nov. 21, Turkey struck a Syrian army outpost west of Kobani where a YPG army barrack is located, an SDF source said. The outpost is one of several where the Syrian army was brought in to prevent the Turks from attacking the SDF.
Turkey has backed rebels fighting to topple Syria's President Bashar al-Assad, and cut diplomatic relations with Damascus early in the 11-year conflict.
Turkey's armed forces have conducted several large-scale military operations in recent years in northern Iraq and northern Syria against the YPG, PKK and Islamic State.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Turkey's operations would not be limited to an air campaign and could involve ground forces.
"Our defence ministry and our general staff decide together how much of the land forces should take part. We make our consultations, and then we take our steps accordingly," he was quoted by Turkish media as saying on a flight from Qatar.
The PKK launched an insurgency against the Turkish state in 1984 and more than 40,000 people have been killed in the conflict. It is considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.