The Turkish Ministry of Defense announced on Saturday night that the time has come to settle scores about Sunday’s attack in Istanbul, showing a photograph of a plane taking off for an operation, without specifying the location.
“The time to settle scores has arrived! The bastards will be held responsible for their treacherous attacks”, can be read on the official Twitter account of the Ministry of Defense, referring to last Sunday’s attack in Istanbul.
“The nests of terror are being destroyed by precision attacks”, adds another message on Twitter, published with a video showing the definition of a target followed by an explosion, again without specifying where the attack took place.
The ministry did not give details of the operation, which appeared to be taking place on Saturday night, but Kurdish forces announced “air bombings by the Turkish army” against the town of Kobane, in northeast Syria, and against two other villages.
“Kobane, the city that defeated the Islamic State, is the target of bombings by the Turkish occupation air force,” announced Farhad Shami, a spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF, a Kurdish-dominated armed coalition), which had previously denied any connection with the attack on the 13th in Istanbul.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said late Saturday night that Turkish attacks on several positions in northern and northeastern Syria killed at least six SDF members, as well as six pro-regime soldiers.
Turkish shelling hit SDF sites in the northern province of Aleppo and the northeastern province of Hassakeh, the organization’s director, Rami Abdel Rahman, told AFP.
An attack on November 13 on the busy shopping street of Istiklal in the heart of Istanbul killed six people and injured more than 80.
Authorities immediately accused the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the YPG (People’s Protection Units), a Kurdish militia active in Syria, accused by Turkey of being affiliated with the PKK.
Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu had specifically accused Kurdish YPG forces, which control most of northeastern Syria, of being responsible for the attack, saying “the order for the attack was given from Kobane”.
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 with involvement in last Sunday’s attack.
The attack was not claimed, but Turkey has already detained 17 people, including a 23-year-old girl accused of planting a bomb in a bank on Istiklal Avenue.