dglobalnews.com Turkey threatens further strikes on US-allied Syrian Kurds
Published: Mon, May 01, 2017
Global Media | By Cecelia Webb

Turkey threatens further strikes on US-allied Syrian Kurds

Turkey threatens further strikes on US-allied Syrian Kurds

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday said Ankara was "seriously saddened" by footage showing American military vehicles operating close to the border with Syrian Kurdish fighters Turkey sees as a terror group.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was asked by Turkish state-run news agency Anadolu about the border patrol, and said Turkey is "seriously concerned to see US flags in a convoy that has YPG rags on it".

The relocation of Turkish troops to an area near the border with Syria comes a day after USA troops were seen patrolling the tense border in Syria. The agency said the relocation comes after Turkish officials announced the completion of a phase of Turkey's cross-border operation in Syria, adding that the force may be used against Syrian Kurdish militants "if needed". Kurdish officials described USA troop movements as a "buffer" between them and Turkey.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member Turkey views the Syrian Kurdish forces as an extension of its own Kurdish insurgency, and launched airstrikes against them last week. "We have USA forces that are there throughout the entirety of northern Syria that operate with our Syrian Democratic Force partners", Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, told journalists on Friday, as reported by AP.

They also attacked the positions of the Kurdish militia near the town of Sinjar.

Rockets fired from an area in Syria controlled by the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) targeted a Turkish army command post in the Ceylanpinar district of Turkey's southern Sanliurfa province.

There haS been almost continuous fire across the Syria Turkey south-east border ever since Turkey had attacked Kurdish targets in both Syria and Iraq earlier in the week as shown on the appended video.

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The Turkish military has launched air strikes against targets in the three self- governing cantons of Rojava in the past week followed up with artillery and tank assaults. Reading this situation, it can be surmised that while the US has examined and considered its issues with Turkey within Trump's first 100 days, concrete steps toward the resolution of key issues between the two allies have yet to be taken.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, did not dispute that US troops are operating with elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) along the Turkish border, but he would not get into specifics. "We are not going to tip off the terror groups and the Turkish Armed Forces could come at any moment", Erdogan said. Some footage posted online showed Kurdish residents cheering USA -flagged vehicles as they drove by.

Turkey carried out several air strikes in Syria and Iraq against Kurdish separatists and their allies on Wednesday, drawing the wrath of USA officials who accused Ankara of poor coordination.

Ankara is keen to join any US-led operation to clear Raqa of IS militants, but without Syrian Kurdish militia forces.

He said he would discuss the issue at a meeting with US President Donald Trump next month. "We can turn up abruptly one night", he said, quoting a line from a well-known Turkish song.

Turkey, however, has remained hostile to the Kurdish People's Protection Units, known by their Kurdish acronym the YPG, which form the backbone of the SDF.

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