Official: Turkish town hit by 4 rockets fired by Kurdish militia

Turkish military trucks carrying tanks and other armoured vehicles cross through a border gate into a Turkish-controlled region of the Oncupinar border crossing with Syria, known as Bab al Salameh in Arabic, near the city of Kilis, Turkey, late Saturday, Jan. 20, 2018.

ISTANBUL: Four rockets fired by Syrian Kurdish militia hit a town in southern Turkey on the Syrian border early Sunday without causing loss of life, local officials said, hours after the Turkish army began a new operation against the group.

There was damage to one building that caught fire and one woman was slightly injured in the rocket fire on the town of Kilis, the Dogan news agency said.

“No one lost their life,” Kilis’ governor Mehmet Tekinarslan said, quoted by Dogan. “They can fire one rocket at us and we will fire 100 back. There is no need to worry,” he said.

Dogan said that the fire had come from bases around the Syrian town of Afrin controlled by the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) which Turkey accuses of being a terror group.

The Turkish army responded by firing artillery shells at the bases from where the rockets were launched, it said.

Turkish forces on Saturday began a major new operation aimed at ousting the YPG from Afrin, pounding dozens of targets from the sky in air raids and with artillery.

Turkey accuses the YPG of being the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has waged a rebellion in the Turkish southeast for more than three decades and is regarded as a terror group by Ankara and its Western allies.

But the YPG has been the key ally of Turkey’s fellow NATO member the United States in the fight against IS jihadists, playing a key role in pushing the extremists out of their Syrian strongholds.