No Turkish shelling of PYD since Syria truce

No reports of Turkey shelling the PYD have taken place seen since the cessation of hostilities kicked off in Syria

No Turkish shelling of PYD since Syria truce

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey has not shelled any positions held by Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG) inside Syria since a ceasefire was implemented last week, a Turkish official said on Thursday.

Since mid-February, Turkish howitzers stationed just inside the border had on successive days shelled targets of the PYD and YPG, inside Syria, with the military saying it was responding to incoming fire.

But Washington had urged Ankara to halt its fire, with the fighting raising concerns in the run up to the ceasefire. 

Since then, there have been no reports of Turkey shelling the PYD, which Ankara accuses of being the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

"We did not target the PYD since the cessation of hostilities," said the official, who asked not be named.

But he confirmed reports that Turkey had on February 28 shelled ISIL extremists in Syria, with six targets hit a total of 41 times. 

The ceasefire, which went into effect at midnight on Friday (2200 GMT), does not apply to ISIL extremists, or Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

The official stressed that Turkey "wants this ceasefire to work" but was "anxious" to see if there would be violations by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and its Russian allies.

The issue of the Syrian Kurds had caused a rare rift between Ankara and Washington, which regards the YPG as the most effective fighting force on the ground against ISIL extremists and has resisted Turkish pressure to classify the group as a terror organisation.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Mart 2016, 12:00
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