On October 28, the Turkish military artillery shelled several positions of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) near the northern Syrian city of Ayn Arab, known as Kobani, according to the Anadolu Agency.
— Az Önce Oldu (@azonceoldu) October 28, 2018
Local sources familiar with the situation told the Turkish news agency that the shelling was aimed at “hindering the terrorist activities” of these groups, which were reportedly building tunnels and fortifications in the area.
From its side, the Hawar News Agency (ANAH) said that the Turkish shelling targeted the villages of Zourmaghar, Ashma and Carikhli around Kobani. According to the Kurdish news agency, the shelling resulted in limited material damage only.
The YPG and the PKK are considered the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which controls most of northwestern Syria. However, both groups are recognized by the Turkish government as terrorist organizations.
Two days ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan issued a “final warning” to Kurdish armed groups in Syria and vowed to clear the entire area east of the Euphrates River from the “terrorists,” in a clear hint to the SDF.
The shelling of Kobani was the first practical step following the aforementioned Erdogan threats. The upcoming days will likely witness more similar attacks by the Turkish military.