US jets strike ammo left behind in Syria's Ayn al-Arab

ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON
Published 17.10.2019 09:27
emReuters File Photo/em
Reuters File Photo

Two U.S. fighter jets launched airstrikes Wednesday to destroy ammunition that was left behind when American forces left a cement factory south of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani), Syria.

The factory had served as a coordination center for the U.S.-led coalition and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

U.S. Army Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the coalition, said the F-15E fighter jet strikes were pre-planned and destroyed ammunition stored at the Lafarge Cement Factory.

He added that all coalition personnel and "essential tactical equipment" had left the base before the strike.

Most of the 1,000 U.S. forces in Syria are being withdrawn over the coming days and weeks because of Turkey's anti-terrorist operation in northeastern Syria.

Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring, the third in a series of cross-border anti-terror operations in northern Syria targeting terrorists affiliated with Daesh and the PKK's Syrian offshoot the People's Protection Units (YPG), on Oct. 9 at 4 p.m.

The operation, conducted in line with the country's right to self-defense borne out of international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions, aims to establish a terror-free safe zone for Syrians return in the area east of the Euphrates River controlled by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG terrorists.

The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, resulting in the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.

Turkey has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates in northern Syria, pledging military action to prevent the formation of a "terrorist corridor" there.

Since 2016, Turkey's Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for nearly 400,000 Syrians who fled the violence to return home.

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