Turkish warplanes on Tuesday targeted fighters from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party, the PKK, as well as members of the YPG, a key Kurdish affiliate on the Iraqi-Syrian frontier.
Monitors from the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said Wednesday at least 28 people were killed in the strikes with around 20 others injured.
Turkey, the United States and the European Union have designated the PKK as a terrorist organization for its decades-long autonomy push against the Ankara government in Turkey’s southeast. On Tuesday, the Turkish military defended the expanded airstrikes.
“To destroy these terror hubs, which threaten the security, unity and integrity of our country and our nation, and as part of our rights based on international law, airstrikes have been carried out,” a short Turkish military statement read.
Witnesses said Turkey’s target grid was expanded for the first time Tuesday to include the Sinjar Mountains, a territory in northern Iraq where another Kurdish militia with links to the PKK was also hit by the airstrikes. Turkey has described Sinjar as a Kurdish logistics hub where militants plan attacks inside Turkish territory.