Turkish Armed Forces shell 21 targets in Syria

The Turkish military says it is shifting operations westwards, which would take it into territory still under DAESH control.

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Turkish army tanks fire towards YPG positions along the Syrian border.

Updated Aug 31, 2016

Turkish Armed Forces on Tuesday said 21 targets were shelled in Jarablus, northern Syria as part of Operation Euphrates Shield.

"Since Monday 4:30 pm local time, Turkish artillery shelled 21 terrorist positions in and around Jarablus using Firtina howitzers," the military said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Meanwhile, coalition warplanes struck two DAESH positions in Jarablus late on Monday," the statement added.

The Turkish Armed Forces said it was taking all necessary measures to avoid civilian casualties.

Operation Euphrates Shield, which was launched on August 24, is aimed at improving security, supporting coalition forces and eliminating the terror threat along the Turkey-Syrian border with Free Syrian Army fighters backed by Turkish Armed Forces.

Ethnic Cleansing

During a speech on the eve of the country's national Victory Day holiday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, "Turkey is determined to take steps to guarantee its citizens' security at home and in neighbouring countries."

"Operations would continue until all threats, including from the YPG, were removed"

The YPG is the militant wing of the PYD, which is considered by Turkey to be the Syrian extension of the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, EU, and NATO.

Turkey said its warplanes and artillery have bombarded positions held by the YPG in recent days.

It accuses the YPG of seeking to take territory where there has not traditionally been a strong Kurdish ethnic contingent.

The Turkish military said it was also shifting operations westwards, which would take it into territory still under DAESH control.

"The YPG is engaged in ethnic cleansing, they are placing who they want to in those places," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

He also demanded YPG withdraw east of the Euphrates river, a natural boundary, with areas of eastern Syria under YPG control.

Turkey Waits for US to Fulfil Commitment

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Tanju Bilgic says Turkey is still waiting for the US to fulfill its commitment regarding the PYD.

“We are waiting for the immediate realisation of the commitment the US forwarded to us that there will not be any PYD/YPG elements in the west of Euphrates after the Manbij operation.”

Bilgic said the operation would continue until the terrorism threats in the region reached a level that would “not disturb Turkish citizens.”

TRTWorld and agencies