Turkish press had reported that the military claimed to have killed between 160 and 200 fighters.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) reported on Twitter that Turkish planes had carried out at least 14 airstrikes, bombing positions of the Jaish al-Thuwar, a member of the SDF, near the border of Efrin, the western-most canton of the Rojava, the self-autonomous region of northern Syria.
The reports were corroborated by pro-Turkish media on Thursday morning. Yeni Safak reported that Turkey had targeted 18 “PYD/PKK” positions as part of its Euphrates Shield operation in northwestern Syria.
The PYD is the Democratic Union Party. Turkey claims the PYD is aligned with the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which it has named as a terrorist organization.
The pro-Turkish outlet reported that the attack took place in Ma’arat Umm Hawsh, a Kurdish village in the northern Aleppo region where the Euphrates Shield operation is taking place.
According to the Turkish military, the incident took place between 9:11 pm an 11:59 pm local time.
CNN Turk has reported that the Turkish military claimed to have killed 160 to 200 “militants” in the operation.
On Wednesday night the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights conflict monitor received a statement from the forces being targeted who alleged that, “Turkey is backing IS [Islamic State/ISIS] by targeting our areas with artillery in corporation with rebels factions.”
“We asked these rebel factions to stop targeting these areas but we did not receive any response as our forces managed to not target any of these factions, but in case the bombardment did not stop under the name of “al-Furat Shield” [Euphrates Shield], our forces will fire back on any front or military area,” the statement added.
Turkey is backing a group of militiamen fighting under the flag of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in northwestern Syria. It launched its current Euphrates Shield campaign on August 24 to clear the border of ISIS militants and prevent the YPG from marching westward of the Euphrates River. Since then these FSA proxies have clashed with YPG fighters who are fighting under the flag of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).