Turkish military convoy moves closer to Syrian Kurds

Erica Roy
May 1, 2017

Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria and Iraq's Sinjar region on Tuesday in an unprecedented bombardment of groups linked to the PKK, which is fighting an insurgency against Ankara in Turkey's southeast.

Erdogan is due in Washington on May 16 for his first meeting with Trump.

The patrols, which began Friday, are being led by USA special operations forces, a US official told CNN.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seeking to send a tough message to Donald Trump with its 25 April airstrikes on Kurdish fighters in Syria, in the hope of bringing about a major U-turn in US Syria policy.

This Friday, April 28, 2017 frame grab from video, shows Syrian children waving as US forces patrol on a rural road in the village of Darbasiyah, in northern Syria.

In his speech, Erdo─čan once again noted that an effective fight against Daesh terrorists can not be carried out using another terrorist group, urging the US and its partners in the anti-Daesh coalition to reconsider their support to the YPG-dominated Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

We have told the U.S. that if Turkey attacks our troops once again we will pull out of the Raqqa operation and deploy all of our forces to the border.

"We tell our American friends not to take terrorists with them", Erdogan said in comments broadcast live on network NTV.

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

The Turkish military said the strikes were meant to prevent the PKK from sending terrorists, arms, ammunition and explosives to Turkey.

The U.S. cooperates with YPG fighters among SDF ranks, which Ankara protests.

Khalil said that his forces were not building up in the area.

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.

Erdogan also told reporters that Ankara is concerned by the photos showing U.S. soldiers attending the funeral of YPG fighters who were killed by Turkish airstrikes in northern Syria last week.

A convoy of Turkish military vehicles has relocated to a base near the Syrian border as tensions with USA -backed Kurdish militants escalate.

The reported relocation comes as tensions between Turkey and Syria's Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) have been rising.

Sporadic Turkish bombardments over the past four years have killed civilians as well as YPG fighters, but this week's attacks mark a significant increase in aggression.

That operation included a series of clashes between Free Syrian Army rebels, backed by Turkey, and Kurdish forces who vowed to fight to the death to defend their territory.

Turkey's military says it has killed 14 members of the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in air strikes in northern Iraq.

The US-YPG cooperation began under the Obama administration, and while Mr Trump said he would rethink the relationship when he took office, little has changed. However, U.S. military officials have come to rely on the potent and capable Kurdish faction in its war against ISIS.

Claiming that his country is leading the most effective campaign against ISIS, Erdogan said: "Let us, hug America, all these coalition powers and Turkey, let us join hands and turn Raqqa to ISIS' grave".

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

Discuss This Article