The Turkish Defense Ministry announced Saturday night that it was time to settle scores over Sunday’s attack in Istanbul, showing a photo of a plane taking off for an operation without specifying the location.
“Time to settle scores! The bastards will be held accountable for their treacherous attacks,” read the official Twitter account of the Ministry of Defense, referring to last Sunday’s attack in Istanbul.
“Terror nests are destroyed by precision strikes,” added another message on Twitter, without specifying where the attack took place, but was posted with a video showing the definition of a target followed by an explosion.
The ministry did not provide details of the operation, which appeared to have taken place on Saturday night, but Kurdish forces announced “air bombardments by the Turkish army” against the town of Kobane and two other villages in northeastern Syria.
“The city of Kobane, which defeated the Islamic State, will be targeted for bombing by the Turkish occupation air force,” announced Farhad Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, the Kurdish-dominated armed coalition). It has nothing to do with the attack in Istanbul on the 13th.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Saturday night that Turkish strikes at multiple levels in northern and northeastern Syria killed at least six SDF members and six pro-regime fighters.
Turkish shelling hit SDF bases in Aleppo’s northern province and the northeastern province of Hasakeh, the organization’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.
Six people were killed and more than 80 injured in an attack on the busy shopping street of Istiklal in central Istanbul on November 13.
Officials immediately targeted the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the YPG (People’s Protection Units), a Kurdish militia operating in Syria, accused by Turkey of being linked to the PKK.
Interior Minister Suleiman Soylu specifically blamed the attack on Kurdish YPG forces, which control much of northeastern Syria.
The US State Department said on Friday it feared “possible military action by Turkey”, warning its citizens not to travel to northern Syria and Iraq.
On Saturday, Bulgarian authorities announced that five suspects had been charged in connection with last Sunday’s attack.
The attack has not been claimed, but Turkey has already detained 17 people, including a 23-year-old woman accused of planting a bomb at a bank on Istiklal Avenue.