Rocket Attack Against Turkish Border Town Kills 2

According to Turkish officials, three people were killed after rockets fired from Syria hit the Turkish district of Karkamis, near the Syrian border on Monday. Ankara claims that the attack was committed by the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia in northern Syria

Rocket Attack Against Turkish Border Town Kills 2
Image credit: Baderkhan Ahmad/AP [via The Wall Street Journal]

Facts

  • According to Turkish officials, three people were killed after rockets fired from Syria hit the Turkish district of Karkamis, near the Syrian border on Monday. Ankara claims that the attack was committed by the People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia in northern Syria.
  • Five rockets were reportedly fired, one of them hitting a school, leaving ten people injured, two of them seriously.
  • The attack comes a day after Turkish airstrikes hit targets associated with Kurdish-dominated forces across northern Syria and Iraq, reportedly killing more than two dozen people. However, the exact number is still unclear. [2]
  • Turkey claimed the airstrikes were in response to a recent bombing of a busy Istanbul street that killed six and wounded 80, saying that it targeted areas "used as a base by terrorists in their attacks on our country." Kurdish militants have denied their involvement in the attack.
  • The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) also reported that among those killed were soldiers in the Syrian Army, which is deployed to some areas on the Syrian-Turkish border.
  • Turkey has launched numerous operations in northern Syria and Iraq against Kurdish militias it accuses of being affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged an armed campaign in Turkey since the 1970s. The YPG is part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which Turkey accuses of being a front for the PKK.

Sources: Al Jazeera, New York Times, CBS, Independent, and Washington Post.

Narratives

  • Narrative A, as provided by Daily Sabah. Turkey is exercising its right to fight terrorism on its borders. The PKK is using Syria and Iraq as launchpads to conduct terrorist attacks in Turkish territory, like the tragic bombing in Istanbul earlier this month. Ankara's retaliation against Kurdish terrorist targets successfully helped to protect the Turkish people and the border.
  • Narrative B, as provided by Rudaw. Turkey is playing with fire, as it continues to act aggressively against the Kurdish people. The SDF has fully denied any involvement in the attack in Istanbul, and a Turkish offensive into northern Syria would seriously endanger the SDF's fight against the Islamic State (IS) in the area. Ankara cannot be allowed to attack the Kurdish people without repercussions.