ANKARA – Turkish armed forces attacked a convoy carrying ammunition and reinforcements to Kurdish armed groups in Afrin, an enclave of northwestern Syria that is the target of a Turkish military campaign, according to a statement on Friday.
An army press release said 30-40 vehicles belonging to the Syrian-Kurdish YPG militia were annihilated in the bombardment around 15 kilometers (9 miles) south of Afrin city late on Thursday.
“Only the convoy belonging to PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorist groups was targeted during the operation, and utmost importance was given to not harm any civilians,” the statement said, using the initials for several Kurdish groups as well as the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State terror organization.
Ankara regards the YPG to be an terror group intrinsically linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party insurgents of eastern Turkey, while it also insists its “Operation Olive Branch” into Afrin aims to expel IS operatives from the region, despite the organization having no documented presence there.
Images posted on YouTube by the Turkish General Staff showed the Turkish army’s nighttime attack on the convoy as well as scenes of destruction left in its wake.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched its military operation into Afrin in a bid to clear the region of the Kurdish YPG militias.
Turkish operations on the ground are spear-headed by rebel factions from the Free Syrian Army.
It caused a diplomatic rift with the United States, whose main ally in the fight against the IS in Syria has been the YPG.