Turkish airstrikes near Aleppo said to kill up to 200 Kurds
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Turkish airstrikes near Aleppo said to kill up to 200 Kurds

Fighters from the YPG People's Protection Units killed in bombing runs in northern Syria, Ankara says

Kurdish fighters of the YPG flash victory signs as they sit on their pickup on their way to battle against the Islamic State, near Kezwan mountain, northeast Syria, May 20, 2015. (The Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units via AP/File)
Kurdish fighters of the YPG flash victory signs as they sit on their pickup on their way to battle against the Islamic State, near Kezwan mountain, northeast Syria, May 20, 2015. (The Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units via AP/File)

ANKARA, Turkey — Turkey’s state-run news agency said Turkish jets struck 18 Syrian Kurdish militia targets north of the embattled city of Aleppo, killing as many as 200.

Anadolu Agency said Thursday the raids targeted the Maarraat Umm Hawsh region in northern Syria. The agency said between 160 and 200 militia fighters were killed in the raid.

It said the air strikes took place late Wednesday night.

The United States considers the militia group, known as the People’s Protection Units or YPG, to be the most effect force in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria. Turkey says the group is an extension of its own outlawed Kurdish militants who have carried out a series of deadly attacks in Turkey over the past year.

In August, Turkey sent its troops and warplanes to back Syrian rebels in their advance on Jarablus, a town near the Turkish border.

Turkey’s incursion helped the rebels take Jarablus from the Islamic State group, but clashes subsequently broke out in the area between Turkish and Kurdish forces — both US-allies.

The fighting between Turkey’s military and the Kurdish forces has raised concern in the United States that it could detract them from the battle against the Islamic State group and frustrate anti-IS efforts by the US-led coalition.

Washington has appealed on both Ankara and Syrian Kurds to stop fighting each other.

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