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Turkey/Syria: Security forces clash with YPG militants in cross-border attack Nov. 7

Security forces kill at least one People's Protection Units (YPG) militant in cross-border clash on November 7; additional clashes likely ahead of possible Turkish offensive in Syria

08 Nov 10:49 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 11/7/2018, 1:00 AM until 11/10/2018, 12:59 AM (Asia/Istanbul). COUNTRY/REGION Şanlıurfa province, Ras Al-Ayn province

Event

Turkish officials confirmed on Wednesday, November 7, that security forces stationed in Şanlıurfa province killed at least one People's Protection Units (YPG) militant who fired into Turkey from Ras Al-Ayn (Hasakah province) in Syria. Cross-border clashes between militants and Turkish forces are likely to continue in the coming weeks ahead of a potential offensive by Turkey in Syria. 

Context

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan threatened on October 30 to "destroy" what he claimed is a terrorist network of YPG militants and is thought to be preparing an offensive east of the Euphrates in Ras Al-Ayn.

Tensions between the Turkish state and regional Kurdish populations have intensified since the launch of Operation Olive Branch on January 20, 2018, which targeted the predominantly Kurdish YPG - considered by Ankara as a terrorist organization and ally of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - in Kurdish-controlled northern Syria. The YPG has launched several deadly retaliatory, cross-border rocket attacks on Turkish towns since the operation began. Prior to the November 7 attack, Turkish forces targeted YPG positions in Syria near Ayn Al-Arab (Aleppo province) on October 31, killing as many as 10 militants.

Advice

Individuals in the region are advised to monitor developments to the situation, adhere to all advice issued by their home governments, and avoid travel to within 10 km (6 mi) of the Turkish-Syrian border due to the high risk of terrorism and other violence.

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