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KURDISH leaders accused Turkey of collaborating with Isis yesterday after the country’s air force killed dozens of militia in Syria and Iraq.
The Turkish military claimed the pre-dawn raids targeted Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militants preparing to enter Turkey from Karachok in north-western Syria and on Mount Sinjar in north-eastern Iraq.
But the Kurdish Kom News website reported that 18 members of the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the people’s protection units (YPG) were killed in the raid on alMalikiyah — or Derik to the Kurds — near the Iraqi and Turkish borders.
Kurdish militias reported that the strikes had hit a media centre, a local radio station, a communication headquarters and some military posts.
Another Kurdish news site, Rudaw, said five Iraqi peshmerga troops of the Kurdistan regional government — opposed to the PKK — were killed and nine injured in Sinjar.
The town, west of Mosul, was liberated from Isis in November 2015 after 15 months of occupation, during which some 5,000 members of the Yazidi religious minority were massacred.
A member of the local Yazidi YBS miltia said one Yazidi civilian had been killed and one injured.
With hundreds of US troops embedded in the people’s protection units in the campaign against the Isis stronghold of Raqqa, Kom News speculated that Nato ally Turkey could not have launched the attacks without co-ordinating with the Pentagon.
In Turkey, pro-Kurdish HDP party MP Lezgin Botan said that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AKP government’s “coalition with Isis was now beyond doubt.
“The AKP has entered Turkey into a war alongside [Isis],” he tweeted. “It is attacking Kurds to rescue [Isis], which is in a tight spot in Raqqa.”
Salih Muslim, co-leader of the largest Syrian Kurdish party, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), told reporters: “A people that is fighting terrorism is being stabbed in the back.”
He said US-led coalition forces “must not remain silent against this. No-one should accept these attacks.”
On Monday an insurgent Free Syrian Army faction commander said his militants, occupying part of northern Aleppo province alongside the Turkish army, would soon resume hostilities against both the Syrian army and the YPG.
Mahmoud al-Baz of the ethnic Turkmen Sultan Murad Brigade said that after the retreat of Isis from the town of al-Bab, the next target would be “the regime and separatist forces.”
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