Russian jets hit opposition-held village near Azaz after PYD repulsed
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJan 14, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jan 14, 2016 12:00 am
Free Syrian Army (FSA) positions were heavily besieged in an operation by the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), on Tuesday on the village of Malikiyah some 3.5 kilometers away from Azaz. According to local sources, the PYD, which planned to move to the town from Afrin, was rebuffed after heavy clashes with the al-Sham Front and other opposition groups. Following the incident, Russian jets conducted 10 airstrikes on the village and FSA positions. The offensive reportedly continues and locals say that sounds of explosions from bombings can be heard from Turkey's border town of Kilis. Last week, opposition groups gained control of three Daesh-held villages around Azaz.
Russia's bombing the area after such progress gained against the terrorist organization is interpreted as a cloak for Moscow using the anti-Daesh fight for its own ends.
It is also known that Russia backs the PYD's project to control the area between Jarabulus and Azaz to connect its Kobani and Afrin cantons through arms support.
Russia bombs Turkmen villages around Latakia Meanwhile, Russian jets also started an offensive in the Turkmen Mountain area located around Latakia, which Syrian regime forces have also joined with mortar fire and missiles.
Local sources say that Russian aircraft started airstrikes in the early hours of Wednesday, targeting Turkmen villages. Sounds of explosions were also heard from the Yayladağı district of southeastern province of Hatay in Turkey.
Regarding Russia's involvement in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech to ambassadors at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on Tuesday that Russia is not waging a war against Daesh in Syria and paves the way for the establishment of a boutique Syrian state in and around Latakia.
Erdoğan, who met with Turkmen officials last week in Ankara, said: "Russia is not in the fight against Daesh, it is not striking against Daesh. On the contrary, Russia is currently preparing a place for itself with efforts to form a boutique Syrian state in Latakia and the surrounding region and is continuously striking our Turkmen brothers."