Turkish security forces hit PKK/PYD targets in Syria's Aleppo province in anti-terror ops

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Turkish security forces on Saturday hit several PKK/PYD targets in the Afrin district of Syria's Aleppo province to prevent a "terror corridor" from forming along Turkey's borders.

According to information gathered by Anadolu Agency in Idlib, Turkish artillery units hit PKK/PYD forces from the Reyhanlı and Kırıkhan dictricts of Turkey's southern province Hatay and a Turkish Armed Forces observation point in Idlib.

Turkish Armed Forces fired at least 36 times during the artillery bombardment in Afrin's Bosoufane, Cindirese, Deir Bellout and Rajo districts.

The Afrin operation follows Turkey's successful seven-month Operation Euphrates Shield, which ended last March.

The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

Since the PKK launched its terror campaign in 1984, an estimated 40,000 people have been killed in Turkey in related violence.

Following a fragile cease-fire, the group resumed fighting in July 2015. Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of approximately 1,200 security personnel and civilians, according to an official tally.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan spoke about the Afrin operation at the provincial congress meeting of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in eastern Elazığ province this past week.

"We are destroying the western wing of this corridor with the Idlib operation," Erdoğan said.

Erdoğan had added that if terrorists in Afrin did not surrender, Turkey would interfere.

The president said Turkey will act alone to protect its security against YPG terrorists even if the U.S. continues its partnership with the group.

Washington reneged on its promise to cease its support for the PKK's Syrian affiliate the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the YPG after Daesh was defeated in Syria, and has substantially increased weaponry and technology support to the group.

Despite the PKK being listed as a terrorist group by the U.S., EU and NATO, Washington supports the PYD and the YPG as "the most effective partner against Daesh," overlooking their links to the PKK. The support has become a strong factor in the deterioration of ties between the two NATO allies, bringing relations to historic lows in recent years.

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