Turkey Begins Offensive on Kurdish Militias After Attacks

(Bloomberg) -- Turkey began its largest offensive in months against Kurdish rebels across its borders, after its army came under attack from militants and faced hostile fire from forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Turkish forces killed 28 Kurdish militants after they carried out two separate attacks from hideouts in Syria and Iraq that left four Turkish troops dead, the state news agency Anadolu reported.

Saturday’s cross-border offensive marked one of the deadliest days recently for the Turkish military, which conducted the attack along with the Free Syrian Army, a rebel group supported by Turkey.

The clashes also highlight tensions over U.S. backing for the YPG, the Syrian Kurdish rebel group responsible for the death of a Turkish lieutenant earlier in the day. Three other Turkish troops were killed when the PKK, a separate Kurdish militia, shelled a military unit inside Turkey from positions in northern Iraq.

Further south in Idlib in Syria, Assad’s forces shelled an area near a Turkish military outpost, damaging a wall at the periphery of the compound and wounding two Turkish soldiers, state media said. Three Turkish helicopters arrived at the scene shortly after the attack while a military airplane provided air support, Anadolu said.

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