Turkish jets resume airstrikes over Syrian Kurdish enclave

February 09, 2018 - 6:18 am

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish jets have resumed airstrikes in the Syrian Kurdish-run enclave of Afrin after a brief lull, the military and media reports said Friday.

The state-run Anadolu Agency said F-16 jets resumed their aerial bombing campaign late Thursday, striking the northwestern enclave's Mount Bafilun, the villages of Sheik Huruz and Kefer Jenne and the regions of Sheran, Jinderes and Raju, among other targets.

Turkey's military issued a brief statement Friday saying its jets bombed a total of 19 targets, including shelters, ammunition depots and gun positions belonging to "terror" organizations. All planes returned to base safely, the statement added.

Separately, the Turkish chief of military staff, Gen. Hulusi Akar, and other commanders inspected the operation from an airborne warning and control plane, the military said.

Unconfirmed Turkish media reports had said that Turkey halted flights after Russia closed the airspace over Afrin after militants shot down a Russian Su-25 fighter jet in northern Idlib province on Feb. 3. Russia effectively controls the skies over the region.

Turkey launched an offensive into the enclave three weeks ago to rout Syrian Kurdish fighters whom Ankara considers to be a security threat because of their links to outlawed rebels in Turkey.

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