At least 18 Kurdish YPG members killed in Turkish air strikes in Syria – monitor

Turkish F-16 fighte jet

(Reuters) At least 18 Kurdish YPG fighters and media officials were killed in Turkish air strikes on a headquarters of the militia in northeastern Syria on Tuesday, the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.

The YPG, a U.S. ally in the fight against Islamic State, did not immediately give its own precise death toll.

Turkey’s military bombed the YPG and Kurdish militants in neighbouring Iraq early on Tuesday, widening a campaign against groups affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The Turkish military has carried out air strikes against Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) militants near Iraq’s Sinjar mountains and northeastern Syria to prevent the group from sending weapons and explosives for attacks inside Turkey, it said on Tuesday.

The two regions have become “terror hubs”, the Turkish army said, with the PKK frequently using these areas to channel militants, weapons, bombs and ammunition into Turkey.

“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, air strikes have been carried out….and terrorist targets have been struck with success,” the Turkish army said in a statement. The air bombardment was carried out around 02.00 a.m. (7 p.m. ET on Monday) local time, it added.

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