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Syria: Turkish air strike kills at least 20 people on Kurdish-held territory

Syrian Democratic Forces say dozens left in hospital following strike on security training camp
The funeral of members of the Kurdish Asayish security forces, killed a day earlier in a Turkish drone strike, held in the town of Amuda, in the northeastern Syrian Hasakah governorate, on 7 October 2023 (AFP)

Turkish air strikes in northern Syria targeting the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) killed at least 20 people on Monday, according to a war monitor.

An air strike hit a training centre for the SDF's local Asayish security forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said in a statement.

The SDF confirmed "a number of our forces were killed and others wounded" in the strike, the latest in a series of bombing raids conducted by Turkey since Thursday.

AFP said that authorities in the area had called for blood donations, while hospitals were full of casualties.

Turkey has intensified its air strikes on Syria's Kurdish-held northeast following a bomb attack in Ankara last week that was claimed by the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

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The SDF is mainly dominated by the People's Protection Units (YPG) which Turkey considers an extension of the PKK.

However, the SDF has denied that those behind the Ankara attack had passed through the area.

Washington has used the SDF as its primary partner in Syria in the fight against the Islamic State group since 2014, though it considers the PKK a terror group.

A top Turkish official said on Friday that his country wouldn’t stop pursuing "terror groups" or bow to threats following the downing of a Turkish drone by US forces in Syria.

“We will eradicate terrorism, whether in northern Iraq, northern Syria or anywhere else,” said Fahrettin Altun, the Turkish president’s communications director.

“We will not bow to threats and we will not compromise our security.”

The downing of the drone on Thursday marked the first-ever Nato-on-Nato armed clash in Syria.

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