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YPG says Turkish troops fired on it in northeast Syria

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an alliance dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), gather on the outskirts of Chaddade, a town in Syria’s northeastern province of Hasakah, February 19, 2016. ©AFP

A Syrian Kurdish group says the Turkish army has fired on its members in northeastern Syrian city of Qamishli on the border with Turkey.

Redur Xelil, an official from the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, also known as YPG, said that one of their members was seriously wounded in the firing on Saturday.

The incident triggered clashes between the two sides, he said, adding, “The situation is now tense,” near the Turkish border.

On Friday, the Kurdish group reported that Turkish tanks had fired dozens of shells at its positions in northwest Syria.

However, Turkey denied the report, saying that Turkish tanks shelled positions held by Daesh Takfiri terrorists not those of YPG.

Ankara accuses Syrian Kurdish group Democratic Union Party, also known as the PYD, and its military wing the YPG of having links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group that has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

The YPG, which is nearly in control of Syria’s entire northern border with Turkey, has been fighting against Daesh.

Angered by the rapid advance of Syrian Kurdish fighters in areas near the Turkish border, Ankara shelled their positions inside Syria last month.

Ankara has widely been blamed for the surge in the conflict in Syria as it has been supporting anti-Damascus militants with funds, training and weapons.

Turkey has also been engaged in a large-scale campaign against the PKK in its southern border region in the past months. However, activists argue that clashes have led to the deaths of civilians and inflicted major damage to the buildings and infrastructure in the southeastern region of the country.

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