Two US F-15 fighter jets carried out an airstrike on a US munitions storage bunker at Lafarge Cement Factory, located between Kobani and Ain Issa, Syria.
“On Oct. 16, after all Coalition personnel and essential tactical equipment departed, two Coalition F-15Es successfully conducted a pre-planned precision airstrike at the Lafarge Cement Factory to destroy an ammunition cache, and reduce the facility’s military usefulness,” US Army Col. Myles Caggins, a spokesman for the US-led military coalition fighting ISIS, said in a statement.
On Oct. 16, after all #Coalition personnel and essential tactical equipment departed, two Coalition F-15Es successfully conducted a pre-planned precision airstrike at the Lafarge Cement Factory to destroy an ammunition cache and reduce the facility’s military usefulness.
— OIR Spokesman Col. Myles B. Caggins III (@OIRSpox) October 16, 2019
The pre-planned airstrike was likely needed because US troops were fleeing the battlefield so fast that they had no time to evacuate all their equipment and destroy facilities.
In addition, US troops vacated Raqqah and Tabqah. The withdrawal is going full-steam, despite US Congress holding a rhetoric against it.
The Turkish side also confirmed the strikes, shortly after the Syrian Army entered the town of Kobani near the US military facility.
The US has set on fire their military base in Kharab Ashk which is located west of Ayn Isa. Then they have withdrawn from the area.
ABD Ayn İsa batısındaki askeri üssünü ateşe verdikten sonra bölgeden ayrıldı. pic.twitter.com/54sHmLQBao
— . (@op_shield) October 16, 2019
The US side maintains that the Lafarge Cement Factory was “the headquarters of the de facto Defeat-ISIS coalition in Syria” prior to its being vacated.
Caggins said that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces “set fire to, then vacated, its facilities and equipment” as “Turkish-backed militias advanced towards the Lafarge Cement Factory.”
On the same day, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Parliament and said that the Lafarge Cement Factory was “a breeding ground for terror groups.”
In a speech he condemned the vast amount of ammunition and heavy weapons provided for the YPG by Turkey’s allies, particularly the U.S.
“We are seeing 90 kilometer-long tunnels in northern Syria. How do they build these tunnels? Where is the cement to construct them coming from?” the president asked. “The cement for the tunnel construction comes from Lafarge’s plant in the region, a French firm,” he said, demanding an explanation from France, another one of Turkey’s allies in NATO.
According to data provided by Daily Sabah, the French company Lafarge had been providing funds and facilities to the YPG (People’s Protection Units), which is what the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) calls itself when it’s on Syrian soil.
Lafarge operated its factory even during the war, as it was first under protection from the Syrian Arab Army, under President Bashar al-Assad and then it paid ISIS and subsequently the YPG for protection.
“According to a Lafarge internal inquiry, between 2011 and 2013, the group paid around $5.5 million to terrorist groups such as the YPG, Al-Nusra Front and Daesh [ISIS] in order to guarantee Jalabiya’s cement production and supply in the region. According to a judicial inquiry by French courts, Lafarge gave around $15.3 million to various militias between 2011 and 2015.”
Since October 13th, the Turkish embassy in the US has been releasing statements on its official Twitter account, describing what the YPG are, and how they are connected to the PKK, furthermore revealing the hypocrisy of the US in supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), whose core is the YPG.
The ultimate goal of #OperationPeaceSpring, in the face of terror threats emanating from #Syria against our national security, is to ensure the security of our borders, to neutralize terrorists in the region and to save the Syrian people from the oppression of terrorists.
— TurkishEmbassyDC (@TurkishEmbassy) October 13, 2019
Furthermore, YPG us under the command of a PKK member, who is even targeted under the “Reward for Justice Program” of the US State Department.
FACT: #PKK/PYD/#YPG turned northeast #Syria into an arms and explosives training camp for numerous other radical terrorist organizations that target European countries, including Turkey. #OperationPeaceSpring pic.twitter.com/gvoi0cNOjj
— TurkishEmbassyDC (@TurkishEmbassy) October 13, 2019
Finally, the praised General Mazloum, who commands the SDF is actually Ferhat Abdi Şahin, according to the Turkish side.
He allegedly killed 41 civilians and wounded upwards of 400 people in his 28 years as part of the PKK.
FACTS: WHO IS GENERAL MAZLOUM OF TERRORIST #YPG?
His real name is Ferhat Abdi Şahin.
His code name is Şahin Cilo.
He killed 41 Turkish civilians, wounded more than 400 in his 28 years in the #PKK terrorist organization. #Syria #OperationPeaceSpring pic.twitter.com/t9hR1OGdbK
— TurkishEmbassyDC (@TurkishEmbassy) October 12, 2019
Since Operation Peace Spring began on October 9th in northern Syria, the Turkish National Defense Ministry provides daily updates of its progress.
As of October 17th, a total of 673 YPG/PKK members have been “neutralized,” meaning they were either killed or detained (surrendered or captured).
The Turkish advance appears to be largely successful and there seems to be little standing in their way, especially with Russia reportedly assisting in separating the Syrian Arab Army from the Turkish forces.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- US Considering Ways To Remove B61 Nuclear Bombs From Incirlik Air Base, Turkey: US Media
- Syrian Army Entered Kobani Blocking Turkish Attempts To Capture Key Town (Video)
- Trump Calls PKK Bigger Threat Than ISIS As Senate Attempts To Block Troops Withdrawal From Syria