Dozens of Turkish military vehicles have reportedly crossed the Syrian border over border into Afrin a Kurdistani area.
The military vehicles advanced 200 meters into the Syrian Kurdish region in Aleppo province on Thursday and troops have began to dig a trench according to the Kurdish NHA news agency.
It added that the troops started digging a trench between the towns of Sorka and Meydan Ekbis. According to the agency the construction of a concrete wall on the Syrian border in the area is ongoing as well.
The agency posted photos of ongoing operations on its website.
Des dizaines de blindés de militaires du régime turc ont passé la frontière de Syrie/Rojava de 200m pic.twitter.com/hq3Nn4jjc4
— InfoRojava-Kurdistan (@info_Rojava) February 18, 2016
The Syrian Afrin district bordering Turkey is predominantly Kurdish with a population estimated to be of more than 170,000 people according to a 2004 census. The area is part of a de facto autonomous region of Rojava, or Syrian Kurdistan since 2013.
A Turkish security source told Reuters that they country’s military shelled Kurdish YPG militia positions in northern Syria on Thursday. The source added that the shelling came in response to cross-border fire.
The developments come as Turkey accused forces linked with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia of an explosion in Ankara that killed 28 and injured 61 more. On Thursday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu vowed to continue the military efforts against Kurdish groups in Syria. The Syrian Kurds, in turn, denied responsibility for the attack and put the blame on Islamic State militants (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).
Turkey has been stepping up military activity if the areas with a predominantly Kurdish population, which include its own territories in the southeast as well as areas in northern Syria and Iraq.
Turkish military has been intensely shelling Syrian Kurds despite UN Security Council (UNSC) warning on Tuesday which urged Ankara to comply with international law.