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Turkey's Fidan declares all PKK, YPG facilities in Syria, Iraq 'legitimate targets'

High-level and open threats by Turkey have ramped up fears of a fresh escalation in northern Syria between Turkish forces and Syrian Kurdish groups that Ankara deems terrorists.
Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan looks on during a meeting with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on the sidelines of the 78th United Nations General Assembly at the Lotte Palace Hotel in New York on September 22, 2023. (Photo by BING GUAN / POOL / AFP) (Photo by BING GUAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

ANKARA — Turkey’s Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan said on Wednesday that Kurdish militants’ facilities and infrastructure in Syria and Iraq are "legitimate targets" for his government following a suicide bombing attack in Ankara over the weekend. He pledged an "extremely clear" retaliation.

“From now on, all infrastructure, superstructure and energy facilities of the PKK and YPG, especially in Iraq and Syria, are the legitimate targets of our security forces, armed forces and intelligence units,” Fidan said, using acronyms for the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and its Syrian offshoot the People’s Protection Units (YPG). 

Fidan said Turkish authorities had established that the two assailants who carried out the attack on Sunday were trained in Syria and had traveled to Turkey from there, but did not cite evidence.

The bombing, which left the two assailants dead and two police officers wounded, struck outside the national headquarters of Turkey’s police on Sunday and was the first to be claimed by the PKK inside Ankara since 2016.

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