Turkish Military Clashes With Syrian Opposition Groups

Posted: August 29, 2016 in Uncategorized
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Turkish armed forces battling against opposition groups in Syria are operating in territory that no longer belongs to the Daesh, US Department of State spokesperson John Kirby said in a briefing on Monday.
Earlier on Monday, US National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes said the United States opposes Turkey’s military incursion south of Jarabulus against Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
 “We are watching this area… north of Manbij where ISIL [Daesh] is no longer located,” Kirby stated. “And clashes yesterday and those today between Turkish armed forces and some opposition groups… these actions were not coordinated with the United States.”
Kirby noted that Turkish clashes with Syrian-led opposition forces are not helpful to the coalition’s overall effort to defeat the Daesh.
US Told Turkey to Not Engage Kurdish Syrian Defense Forces
The United States has directly spoken to Turkish officials urging them to avoid military engagement with US-allied Kurdish forces in Syria, US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said in a press conference on Monday.
“We have called upon Turkey to… stay focused on the fight against ISIL [Daesh] and not to engage Syrian Defense Forces,” Carter stated.
US officials have called on both sides “not to engage one another,” following the joint US-Turkish recapture of the Syrian border town of Jarabulus, Carter added.
Ankara announced on Wednesday that Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, had begun a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield to clear the Syrian border town of Jarabulus of militants from the Daesh terrorist group, which outlawed in Russia and numerous other countries.
On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Ankara will continue its Euphrates Shield in northern Syria until the threat posed by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) militants operating in the area is eliminated.
Tensions between Ankara and the Kurds escalated in July 2015 when a ceasefire between Turkey and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) collapsed over a series of terrorist attacks, allegedly committed by PKK members. Ankara considers PYD an affiliate of PKK, which is outlawed in Turkey.
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