The Syrian war took a new turn Saturday, when Turkish artillery Saturday started pounding Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) forces near the northern Syrian town of Aleppo. It started shortly after Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu threatened the same measures against the Syrian Kurds “as we took in Iraq and Qandil [against PKK strongholds]."
This week, PYD forces, with close Russian support, seized control of the Minagh air base near Aleppo from Islamist rebels. DEBKAfile: This was the first instance of Russian-Kurdish cooperation in the Syrian war.
The fall of the base deprived left Syrian rebels encircled in Aleppo of their supply routes by air, after the Syrian army and allies cut off their road links to Turkey. This steps were part of the Russian strategy for the capture of Aleppo, and Moscow will most likely retaliate for the Turkish artillery attack.