On February 17, the media wing of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) announced that YPG fighters had conducted a “special operation” against a headquarter of the Turkish Army in the village of Qiri Xane in the southern Turkish province of Hatay.
The Kurdish force didn’t clarify how the operation had been conducted or what weapon had been used to target the headquarter. However, it claimed that seven army soldiers and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters were killed in the operation.
Moreover, the YPG called on civilians in southern Turkey to stay away from positions of the army and the FSA. This may indicate that the Kurdish force is planning to conduct similar “special operations” inside Turkey in the future.
So far, Turkish officials have not confirmed or denied the YPG’s claims. However, several Syrian opposition activists confirmed that an attack took place in Hatay province.
Previously, YPG fighters shelled several cities in southern Turkey with Grad rockets. However, this was the first time when the Kurdish force claimed it had conducted a “special operation” inside the Turkish territory since the start of Ankara’s military operation in the Afrin area on January 20.
The YPG attack will likely contribute to the growth of the political crisis between Ankara and Washington as it comes only few days after the visit of U.S. Secretary of Stat Rex Tillerson to Turkey. According to experts, the YPG’s attack could put an end to any agreement the two sides reached during Tillerson’s visit.