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Turkey’s military operations against Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq continue with full force despite several recent setbacks.
In northern Syria, the Turkish military continues its attacks in the framework of Operation Claw-Sword which was launched on November 20 in response to the November 13 Istanbul bombing.
The Turkish military and its proxies carried out a series of artillery and rocket strikes on positions of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) early on November 26.
The strikes targeted the villages Zour Maghar, Zurafa, Bayadi, Ziyarah, Jarqali, to the west of the town of Kobane, in the northeastern Aleppo countryside. Kobane is a key stronghold of the SDF.
Some positions of the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) were also hit. A soldier was reportedly wounded. The army has been deployed around Kobane since 2019 to maintain peace and security under a Russian-brokered agreement.
The SAA deployed large reinforcements in the western outskirts of Kobane just a few hours before the strikes. The reinforcements included more than 20 battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, truck-mounted heavy machine guns and howitzers.
Late on November 26, a series of Turkish airstrikes targeted positions of the SDF and the SAA in the outskirts of the towns of al-Malikiyah, Sewarxa and Maraanaz as well as within the Menagh Military Airbase in the northern countryside of Aleppo. Following the airstrikes, the Turkish military carried out a series of artillery strikes on the same areas.
Heavy material losses were reported after the Turkish strikes. However, there were no casualties. The response of the SDF was limited to a few mortar and rocket strikes.
Meanwhile in northern Iraq, the Turkish military continue to suffer losses within Operation Claw-Lock zone in the Kurdistan Region on the hands of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK).
On November 25, the Turkish Ministry of National Defense acknowledged that soldiers were killed in clashes with PKK fighters in Kurdistan.
A day later, on November 26, three more soldiers were killed in a daring raid by the Kurdish guerilla group near the border. The attack was not without losses for the PKK. The group lost three of its fighters. A fourth one, a female fighter, was captured.
The Turkish military received yet another blow on November 27, when the seventh soldier was killed in an attack by the PKK in the Operation Claw-Lock zone.
Turkey is reportedly preparing to escalate its operations against Kurdish forces even further, especially in Syria. Ankara appears to be determined to launch a new ground invasion into northern Syria to weaken the SDF, despite objections from Russia and the United States. Such a move will certainly start a dangerous confrontation that could spread into northern Iraq.