Feb 23 2018

Turkey publishes video of ‘terror convoy’ bombing

Turkey’s military has released video footage of an air operation against a convoy of vehicles heading for Kurdish-controlled Afrin in Syria.

The convoy, moving under cover of darkness and belonging to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and Islamic State (ISIS), was made up of 30-40 vehicles and carrying terrorists, weapons and supplies, the military said on its website on Friday. It was engaged about 15 kilometres southeast of Afrin, it said.

On Thursday, Syrian state television said an aid convoy headed toward Afrin was targeted by Turkish artillery, inflicting casualties. The channel did not provide any more details about the incident, which came two days after pro-government fighters supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad began entering the enclave, where Turkey’s army is battling Kurdish militants.

Turkey started its incursion into Afrin on Jan. 20 in an assault against the YPG, which it says is indistinguishable from the PKK, a Kurdish armed group seeking autonomy from Turkey. Unlike the YPG, which is helping the United States fight ISIS in Syria, the PKK is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Washington and the European Union.

Earlier this week, Syria said it was sending pro-regime forces to Afrin to help locals defend their territory against Turkey and ISIS militants. Turkish artillery also bombed a convoy of fighters on Tuesday that Syria said was part of that effort.

Locals in Afrin have reported the arrival of pro-regime forces in the city and surrounding countryside.

Analysts have warned that the Turkish incursion and Syria's response threatens a new flashpoint in Syria and the wider Middle East.