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Turkey hits east of Euphrates, kills 14 YPG militants

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Turkish troops stationed at the Syrian border hit People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants on Wednesday in the Ayn al-Arab area east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria, killing at least 14 terrorists, Daily Sabah reported.

Artillery fire killed four militants, and six more were injured in the shelling early in the day, the state-run Anadolu news agency said. Turkish-made T-155 Fırtına howitzers fired from the Syrian border in southeastern Turkey’s Şanlıurfa province, the agency added.

Later in the day, the Ministry of Defense said Turkish troops responded to harassment fire targeting a border outpost in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa, bordering northern Syria’s Ayn al-Arab, killing at least 10 militants.

On Sunday the Turkish military shelled YPG positions in the Zor Magar area to the west of Ayn al-Arab, also known as Kobani.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday reiterated Turkey’s determination to conduct a military operation in northern Syria east of the Euphrates River, saying preparations and plans for an offensive against the YPG militia were complete.

Meanwhile, the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by YPG militia, claimed that attacks by Turkey have led to a temporary halt in an offensive against the terrorist Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in eastern Syria’s Deir el-Zour region.

According to the Erdoğan government, the YPG is the Syrian branch of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging an insurgency in Turkey since the mid-1980s.

Turkey considers the YPG’s presence on its border with Syria a serious threat to its national security.

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