Turkey threatens further strikes on US-allied Syrian Kurds

Justin Greene
May 1, 2017

As clashes continue between North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey and Kurdish militant group the People's Protection Unit, U.S. forces are patrolling the border region in an operation reminiscent of the "reassure and deter mission" launched in Syria in March.

Analysts say the dispute will be the number one issue when Erdogan meets Trump for the first time as president on May 16 in the United States.

The patrols began on Friday and are being conducted mainly by special operations forces, a US official told CNN.

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.

"The border is among the areas where they operate", Davis also said, adding that the USA wants Kurdish militia, including the Kurdish-dominated alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to focus on the liberation of the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, Islamic State's self-proclaimed capital in Syria, and "not to be drawn into conflicts elsewhere".

A U.S. Army soldier stands on an eight-wheeled armored fighting vehicle, near al-Ghanamya village, al-Darbasiyah town, at the Syrian-Turkish border on Saturday.

Both Turkey and the U.S have sent armored vehicles to the Turkish-Syrian border, as tensions rise in the region.

"The huge America, the coalition and Turkey can join hands and turn Raqqa into a graveyard for Daesh", said president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"We can come unexpectedly in the night", said Erdogan.

Turkey, however, has remained hostile to the Kurdish People's Protection Units, which form the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

Six militants were killed around the area of Sinat-Haftan and eight in the countryside around Adiyaman in two separate air strikes on Saturday, the military said.

Redur Khalil, the spokesman for the YPG in Syria, said his group has information that Turkey is reinforcing its border posts opposite Tal Abyad as well as other border posts.

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

Officials at the Pentagon would not confirm whether forces had been dispatched to the border region specifically to deter fighting between Turkish and People's Protection Unit, or YPG, forces. He said that the current U.S. deployment was temporary but did not rule out a possibility of it becoming permanent. "In this attack by the Turkish army, 20 of our comrades were killed and 18 of our comrades were wounded", the YPG said.

Journalist Mohammed Hassan, who published some of the images, did not provide the exact location where they were taken, saying only that United States troops were spotted between Rojava and Turkey.

The area, which includes Arbin, has been held under siege by government forces for more than three years.

Those attacks killed almost 30 YPG fighters and officials, a monitoring group reported.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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