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Turkish army bombards positions in northern Aleppo, Washington expresses concern

BEIRUT |, with agencies - February 14, 2016, 10h03

Turkish army units on Saturday opened fire against Kurdish Democratic Union Party targets on the outskirts of the city of Izaz within the Syrian province of Aleppo, and responded to Syrian regime forces' bombing of a guard point in the province of Hatay in South Turkey, Anatolia News Agency reported on Saturday. 

According to The Guardian, the bombing took place after Kurdish fighters, backed by Russian bombing raids, drove Syrian rebels from a former military air base near the Turkish border.

Turkey’s prime minister, Ahmet Davutoğlu, confirmed that the country’s forces have struck Kurdish YPG militia targets in northern Syria, and have demanded the group withdraws from the area it has recently captured.

 “We will retaliate against every step [by the YPG],” Davutoğlu told reporters in comments shown live by state broadcaster TRT Haber on Turkish television. “The YPG will immediately withdraw from Azaz and the surrounding area and will not go close to it again.”

A security official said the shelling was retaliation under Turkish military rules of engagement, after the PYD – the Kurdish Democratic Union party, regarded by Ankara as a terrorist organisation – and forces loyal to the Syrian president, Bashar al-Assad, opened fire on Turkish military outposts on the border.

In wake of these developments, the United States has expressed concern, whereby a US State Department spokesman said, "We are concerned about the situation in northern Aleppo, and we are working to stop the escalation of all parties." 

#Syria, #Turkey
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