At least eight people were killed after Turkish strikes in Kurdish-held northeastern Syria, security forces said Thursday, as Ankara launched retaliatory cross-border raids following a suicide bomb attack in Ankara on Sunday.
In a statement, Kurdish forces said Türkiye deployed more than 15 drones since Thursday morning, targeting populated areas, and two civilians were among the killed.
Ankara has not given information on the claimed operation in Syria yet, but a Turkish Defense Ministry official said on Thursday that ground operation into Syria is one option Türkiye could consider, with the only goal being “to eliminate the terrorist organizations that pose a threat to Türkiye.”
Türkiye launched the operation after two Syrian assailants carried out a suicide bomb attack in Ankara on Sunday, injuring two Turkish officers. The Turkish Interior Ministry identified the two attackers as Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) members.
On Wednesday, Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan warned at a security meeting that all the infrastructure and energy facilities in Syria and Iraq belonging to the outlawed PKK and the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) are “legitimate targets for the Turkish military.”
The PKK, listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union, has rebelled against the Turkish government for more than three decades.
The YPG is seen by Türkiye as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK.
(With input from agencies)