Rocket from Syria hits southern Turkey, 6 hurt

– Projectile lands near local market; ambulances, police rush to the scene

– A rocket projectile fired from northwestern Syria injured six people when it hit landed in a city center in southern Turkey’s Kilis Thursday, the regional governor told Anadolu Agency.

Governor Ismail Catakli said: “We have six injured and five of them are in good health.”

Ambulances and police rushed to the scene following the incident.

According to an Anadolu Agency correspondent at the scene, the projectile landed in Canpolat Street near a local market called Sabah Pazari.

Kilis province lies six kilometers (four miles) from the Syrian border.

Turkey has been under indiscriminate rocket attack from inside Syria since mid-January.

In Kilis alone, the regional governor said more than 20 people had been killed and more than 80 others wounded in such incidents.


Barely a month after the traumatic July 15 failed coup attempt, Turkey launched a military operation in Syria, Al-Jazeerah said in an article on Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield by Galip Dalay.   

The article which was republished by MEO said: “Supported and armed by Turkey, Free Syrian Army units swiftly took control of border town Jarablus, pushing the Islamic State (ISISsouthwest towards alBab region and advancing towards the south and west.”

At the outset, the United States verbally supported the operation. In fact, according to one report, the Pentagon even offered Turkey the possibility of a joint operation with the participation of 40 US commandos, a plan that was allegedly shelved as a result of the White Houses slow response. But nevertheless, the US was supportive of the operation in its initial stages.

US officials called upon the Syrian Kurdish Peoples Protection Units (YPG), the Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) sister organization in Syria, to withdraw to the east of the Euphrates river and threatened to withhold support should they not comply.

As time went on, the US has, however, changed the tone, calling on Turkey to refrain from clashing with the YPG and instead has begun urging it to focus on the common enemy, ISIS.

Both US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and the White House have expressed their displeasure with Turkeys targeting of YPG forces.

By August 30, the US claimed that it has reached a loose agreement to stop fighting between Turkish forces and the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition, a claim that was vehemently denied by Turkish officials.

The rationale behind the operation

Turkey seems to have four goals in mind in carrying out this operation.

First, it wants to prevent the Democratic Union Party (PYD) from establishing territorial contiguity between its cantonsThe last remaining gap in the PYD-held territory on the Turkish border lies between Kobane and Afrin and forms the strategic objective of this operation.

The second goal of the operation is securing the Aleppo corridor from belligerent forces, be it YPG or ISIS.

Third, Turkey aims to clear the ISIS presence, which has posed a direct security and strategic threat to Turkey, from its borders.

Fourth, by clearing ISIS from the area and halting the YPGs westward expansion, Turkey aims to create breathing space for the Syrian opposition, which previously was squeezed between ISIS, the Syrian regime, and the YPG.