Media reports of Turkish strikes on Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) targets in northern Syria seem to reveal the true focus of Ankara’s fight against extremism.
Turkey had been targeting ISIL militant bases, however British NGO The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights backs up the claims of attacks on Kurds. It says an assault on Aleppo Province, near the Syrian border with Turkey, had injured four fighters. Kurds in Syria confirmed the attack.
Local press in Turkey reports Ankara has denied bombing Kurdish positions in Syria.
Ankara says the simultaneous targeting of ISIL and the PKK is part of a campaign that will help create safe zones against extremists. But residents in northern Iraq, where the rebel camps of the PKK are located, have expressed concern.
Sayed Zain al-Deen lives in Amadiya.
“Turkish fighter jets came and hit our village with ten rockets. We and our children were really scared. They even bombed our water supply,” he explained.
Ankara has called for a special NATO meeting on Tuesday (July 28) to discuss its security concerns.
On Sunday (July 26) Turkish troops set up checkpoints in the south east of the country following thebombing of a military vehicle in which two Turkish soldiers were killed and four others were wounded.
PKK rebels are thought to have been responsible for the roadside attack.
The lapse into serious conflict between Turkey and the PKK has raised concerns about the future of peace efforts with Turkey’s own Kurdish foes. Negotiations began in 2012, after 28 years of bloodshed, but have recently stalled.