Redur Khalil, YPG official spokesman, speaking in a press conference in Qamishli. Photo: ARA News
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URFA – Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) threatened to target any plane that intend to breach its airspace in the Syrian Kurdish region. This comes after two foreign military helicopters, believed to be Turkish, were seen above the suburbs of Qamishli in northeastern Syria, military sources reported on Wednesday.
“Two unidentified military helicopters were seen Tuesday night in Qamishli’s northern suburbs, specifically in Alyan area, flying over the oil-rich town of Rumelan and the petroleum stations of Tel Adas (Gir Ziro) as well as the village of Gir Ziyaret,” the YPG’s official spokesman Redur Khalil said in a statement on Wednesday. “The helicopters headed north towards the Turkish territory.”
“We, the YPG forces, warn if this irresponsible action (Turkish breach of Syrian Kurdish airspace) were repeated, we will take the necessary procedures to target any violation of such type,” Khalil stressed.
Speaking to ARA News in Rumelan, an informed source said the Turkish helicopters were roaming in a range of 20 km along the borderline with Syria, adding “one of these helicopters breached the region’s airspace almost three kilometers above Derona Aghe village north of Chel Agha.”
“The Turkish border guards are mobilized on the Turkish side of the border since Tuesday as security cars have intensified their movements on the borderline, which has raised Kurdish concerns,” the source said on the condition of anonymity.
Khalil’s statement coincides with the Russian government’s announcement about a possible plan by Turkish authorities over downing its fighter jet near the Syrian border earlier on Tuesday.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that the Turkish attack on the Russian warplane earlier on Tuesday appeared to be “an ambush”, describing the Turkish action as a “planned provocation”.
President Vladimir Putin considered Turkey’s downing of the Russian jet “a stab in the back”.
On the other hand, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a statement that the Russian fighter jet was downed “after failing to heed multiple warnings and crossing into Turkey’s airspace”.
“We certainly don’t have any idea to escalate this issue,” Erdogan added.
Moscow revealed Wednesday a plan to deploy an S-400 air-defense system at the Latakia military base in western Syria and provide air support for its warplanes from a cruiser in the Mediterranean Sea and by dispatching fighter jets to accompany bombing missions.
Syrian opposition activists considered the statement of the YPG’s spokesman on Wednesday as a “veiled threat” to Turkey, especially the Turkish forces have repeatedly threatened to hit the Syrian Kurdish forces for its alleged links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Reporting by: Jan Nasro
Source: ARA News