February 10th, 2018 – Fort Russ News –
– Joaquin Flores for FRN –
AFRIN, Syria – Turkish officials just now have confirmed Kurdish claims that Kurdish paramilitary forces successfully shot down a Turkish military helicopter in the Afrin region of Syria.
Turkish military sources moments ago confirmed this morning’s reports tweeted by pro-Kurdish sources where they claimed that Kurds downed a Turkish military helicopter near the village of Qude, in the African region of Syria.
Turkey’s president Erdogan confirmed the downing of the helicopter, vowing that the attackers would ‘pay a heavy price’ for the actions. “One of our helicopters was downed just recently,” Erdogan said speaking to officials of the ruling AK Party (AKP) in Istanbul. “These things will happen, we are in a war… We might lose a helicopter, but they’ll pay the price for this.”
The copter downing takes place in the context of an increase in military activities involving Kurdish YPG separatists operating in Syria near the Turkish border areas, and Turkish forces.
A spokesman for the Kurdish militia, Mustafa Bali, confirmed his fighters downed the chopper in Raju, northwest Afrin.
Turkey launched a military offensive on January 20th to uproot the YPG from Afrin in what it has dubbed Operation Olive Branch.
Turkey’s campaign in northwest Syria against the Kurdish YPG militia has further strained relations with NATO ally Washington, who backs the Kurdish rebels in their gambit to partition Syria, in violation of international law.
Turkish air strikes destroyed 19 targets including ammunition depots, shelters and gun positions, the armed forces said in a vague statement which did not include specifics as to when they were conducted. The raids began at midnight, state-run Anadolu news agency said. FRN waits for statements from YPG officials to confirm this piece of the story.