Turkish airstrikes target Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq: dozens killed

Turkish airstrikes on Tuesday morning targeted Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq killing dozens of fighters and civilians according to first reports.

Fighter jets hit Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions in northeaster Syria’s Derik city (Al-Malikiyah) and Kurdish Yazidi positions in northern Iraq’s Shingal (Sinjar) at around 02:00am local time, according to reports.

Information gained by Kom News suggests at least eighteen YPG members were killed in an airstrike on the group’s headquarters in Derik, which is on the border with Iraq’s Kurdistan Region.

A radio station and villages were also hit, however the number of civilian casualties has not been confirmed.

5 Peshmerga killed

Rudaw has reported the death of five peshmerga fighters while nine have been injured in Shingal. According to media at least seven airstrikes targeted Yazidi Shingal Resistance Units (YBS) positions, with another striking a Peshmerga building nearby.

A Peshmerga commander has said the targeting of their building was not a mistake. “We think the Turkish airstrike on a Peshmerga position is intentional, there were many Kurdistan flags on our building,” he told local media.

One Yazidi civilian killed, one injured

In a statement, YBS commander Mazlum Sengali said a Yazidi civilian was killed and another civilian injured. Initially the statement had said the killed civilian was a YBS member.

The YBS is an all Yazidi group affiliated to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and trained to defend the area against the Islamic State (IS) group, which launched an assault on the region killing and kidnapping thousands in 2014.

In a statement published on its website, the Turkish Armed Forces said “terrorist targets” had been hit in northern Iraq’s Shingal and northern Syria’s Karachok with “complete efficiency.”

The YPG also published a statement on developments and confirmed that its headquarters had been targeted and some of its members killed, but did not give a figure.

Kom News sources have said the airstrikes could not have been conducted without the knowledge of international governments.