On Sunday, security forces in Kilis, a southern province bordering Syria, seized 473 kilos of explosives and a large cache of weapons, which would be shipped to PKK affiliates in Syria.
Acting upon intelligence that three suspects would send weapons to the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian affiliate of the terrorist PKK, gendarmerie forces stopped three trucks heading to the border. Searching the trucks, they found 473 kilos of high explosives, 156 kilos of dynamite, 14 heavy machine guns, 10 sniper rifles, along with anti-tank missiles, rocket-propelled grenade (RPG) launchers and munitions for heavy weapons.
Kilis was the target of YPG cross-border attacks last year. Seven people were killed in a string of rocket attacks targeting the province's areas near the border.
Meanwhile, one Turkish soldier was killed in an attack carried out by the YPG near the Operation Olive Branch area in northern Syria, the Defense Ministry said yesterday. The soldier was killed as a result of a mortar attack by the YPG while another soldier was also injured, the Defense Ministry's Press and Public Relations Department said in a statement, noting that the Turkish military immediately retaliated. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) and their allies the Free Syrian Army (FSA) cleared YPG elements from northern Syria's Afrin during Operation Olive Branch launched in January 2018. Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the PKK, which has claimed the lives of more than 40,000 people in its 30-year terror campaign against Turkey. However, the terrorist group, based in northern parts of Syria, enjoys support from the United States under the pretext of fighting Daesh, another terrorist group Turkey countered within Syria in 2016 in Operation Euphrates Shield. Ankara has long voiced its objection to the use of the YPG in the fight against Daesh, saying it considers the YPG's presence on its southern border a grave national security threat.