At least 35 killed as Turkish army strikes deeper into Syria

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Turkish air strikes and artillery attacks have killed at least 40 people, mostly civilians, and wounded dozens more in a single attack, according to a group monitoring the Syrian war and rebels.

Ankara will continue its Euphrates Shield military operation in northern Syria until the threat posed by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants operating in the area is eliminated, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday.

According to the Observatory, Turkish artillery fire and air strikes on Jeb el-Kussa village killed at least 20 civilians and wounded 50 others.

Turkish security sources said the strikes targeted USA -backed Kurdish YPG militia, which makes up the majority of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

The Turkish military said it took "all necessary measures" to protect the local civilian population.

The SDF, which is spearheaded by the YPG, a Syrian Kurdish militia, has been lauded by both Russian Federation and the West as one of the most effective forces fighting Isis, and has received extensive U.S. support.

Escalating tensions between Turkish armed forces and Syrian Kurdish rebels in the newest battlefront of the complex war may endanger US forces in the area and complicate their mission to eradicate IS, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Activists told Asharq Al-Awast that opposition factions, supported by Turkish tanks, had controlled on Saturday the two villages of West Talj and Hadabat, located in east Aleppo following clashes with ISIS members.

Turkey's state news agency says the Turkish Military Joint Special Task Forces and coalition airplanes have targeted the bases of suspected "terror groups" south of the Syrian town of Jarablus. It was the first Turkish death reported in the campaign.

Ankara is deeply suspicious of the Syrian Kurdish militia that dominates the USA -backed Syria Democratic Forces, viewing it as an extension of the Kurdish insurgency raging in southeastern Turkey.

AFP said Turkey on Saturday sent six more tanks into Syria as pro-Ankara forces pressed on with de-mining work in the Syrian town of Jarablus, captured from ISIS this week.

Turkey's military said 25 Kurdish militants were killed in its air strikes.

Confirmation of the casualties among civilians also came from SDF spokesperson Shervan Darwish to AP, who said that Turkish assaults left "many civilians" dead in a village south of Jarablus.

Ankara considers the YPG a "terrorist" group and has fiercely opposed its bid to expand into areas recaptured from ISIS to create a contiguous autonomous zone.

The battle marked a breakdown of a fragile equilibrium that had been established after Kurds and Turks, backed by the United States, helped Syrian rebels oust Islamic State jihadists from a border city last week.

Turkey's president vowed on Sunday to "destroy terrorists" after months of deadly attacks throughout the country and reiterated his claim that a child suicide bomber was responsible for last weekend's explosion that claimed at least 54 lives in the southeast. Turkish forces carried out their first airstrikes on pro-Kurdish positions on Saturday as part of what Ankara is calling "Operation Euphrates Shield".

To be sure, Syrian rebels and Kurdish forces have regularly fought each other elsewhere in Syria.

"No corridor, period. No separate entity on the Turkish border", said Biden in a press conference on Wednesday, adding that "elements that were part of the Syrian Democratic Forces. must move back across the [Eurphrates] river".

The problem for Turkey is that the YPG is linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party, known as the PKK, a Turkish Kurdish militant group that's been fighting since 1984 for self-rule in Turkey.