Turkey kills 21 Kurdish militants in Syria after rocket attack at border

Turkey killed 21 Kurdish militants in Syria, after being hit by rockets fired from the neighbouring country, killing one Turkish soldier in southern border province of Gaziantep’s Karkamış district, the Turkish Defence Ministry said on Thursday.

Three soldiers and a civilian were also wounded by the rockets fired from Syria’s Ayn al-`Arab (Kobani) region, the ministry said earlier in a separate statement.

Kobani, a Kurdish-majority region in northern Syria, is under the control of the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara sees as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkish soil for autonomous Kurdish rights for four decades.

All kinds of attempts against the peace and security of our nation are responded in kind, and the retaliatory fires will continue, the ministry said.

“The blood of our martyr won’t be left on the ground,’’ the ministry said.

Turkey has staged multiple military offensives into Syria in collaboration with Syrian rebels it backs to push YPG fighters from the Turkish borders, a key ally of the United States in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS). 

Turkey and Turkey backed Syrian fractions have control of three different areas in the region – the northwestern enclave of Afrin, Idlib, and Ra's al-Ayn.

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