Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Turkish president threatens to target US-backed Kurdish fighters

Turkish president threatens to target US-backed Kurdish fighters

The SDF accused Turkey of supporting the IS militants in their advances, saying it was responsible for "temporarily stopping the battle to fight terrorism carried out by our forces against the last holdout of the terrorist group". Most of the Kurdish-controlled territory lies east of the Euphrates. We will soon crush the terrorist organization with more comprehensive and effective operations.

The Manbij patrols are part of a "road map" that Ankara and Washington agreed on in June to defuse tensions amid demands for the withdrawal of the USA -backed People's Protection Units (YPG) terrorists.

Both the European Union and the USA classify the PKK as a terrorist organization, but they differentiate between the PKK and other Kurdish groups. French and American troops are on the ground fighting ISIS with the Kurdish forces in northern Syria.

Abdullah Agar, a security expert and retired special warfare and commando officer, said the regional dynamics on the eastern Euphrates have been heating up in recent days. "We can come suddenly any night", he said.

On Wednesday, Palladino said the United States has been in touch both with Turkey and the Syrian Democratic Forces "to emphasize the need to de-escalate the situation".

"Unilateral military strikes" into northern Syria "by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us", Robert Palladino, State Department Deputy Spokesperson, affirmed on Wednesday.

According to the Turkish state Anadolu news agency, Turkish artillery targeted Kurdish forces in the Zor Moghar village in Aleppo on Sunday.

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As agreed by the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies in June, Turkish and US forces are now carrying out patrols in Manbij, but those are independent of each other.

"We are aware of Turkish statements about a planned offensive into northeast Syria and have been in touch with Turkey and the SDF to de-escalate the situation", Cmdr.

The strategic town lies west of the Euphrates and was taken by SDF forces from the Islamic State in 2016.

Training for the patrols was recently concluded and three U.S. defense officials told CNN on Tuesday that the joint patrols were due to begin in "a matter of days".

"We also call the global community to condemn the Turkish provocations in the safe areas in Syria, and we demand our partners in the worldwide Coalition to show a clear attitude and stop Turkey from launching attacks on the region", the statement added.

SDF forces have dug trenches around Manbij and other areas near the Turkish border. Turkish officials have repeatedly threatened a third operation against the city of Manbij.

Turkey has always been accused of directly or indirectly propping up the Islamic State in order to press on with a decades-long campaign against the Kurds, one of the largest stateless populations in the world.

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