Eva Deschamps / November 20, 2022
The Turkish Defense Ministry announced Sunday morning that it had launched the air operation “Sword Claw” in northern Iraq and Syria, accusing its regions of being “used as bases by terrorists.” “The planes have taken off from their bases, the air operation has begun,” the ministry said in a statement, a week after the deadly attack that hit a shopping street in the heart of Istanbul.
The operation was carried out “in accordance with the rights of self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, in order to eliminate terrorist attacks in northern Iraq and Syria, ensure border security and eliminate terrorism at its source,” it said in a statement.
The hour of reckoning has come,” the Turkish Defense Ministry announced on Twitter on Sunday, showing a photo of a plane taking off for a night operation without specifying a location.
Nearly 25 airstrikes were carried out by the Turkish military in the Syrian provinces of Raqa and Hassake (northeast) and Aleppo (north), killing at least nine Kurdish forces and six Syrian regime forces, and wounding 31 others, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (OSDH), a London-based NGO with an extensive network of sources in Syria.
The raids came days after the PKK and the Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) rejected Ankara’s accusations of responsibility and denied any link to the Nov. 13 Istanbul attack, which killed six people and wounded 81 others.
Kobane, the city that defeated the Islamic State, is the target of bombing by the Turkish occupation air force,” announced Farhad Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, a Kurdish-dominated armed coalition), who had denied any connection with the attack.