Eleven Kurds killed in Turkish strike in Syria

( April 29) Turkish president Recep Erdogan claimed that the Turkish southern border region with Syria had come under mortar fire the last two days and Turkish forces were responding as necessary.

There haS been nearly 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 Turkish military reported 11 Kurdish "terrorists" killed. There were no reports of Turkish casualties. Turkey considers members of the YPG or People's Defence Units to be terrorists whereas the US considers them key allies in the fight against the Islamic State(IS). Erdogan complained at a conference in Istanbul, that US support for YPG fighters within Syria was damaging solidarity between the US and Turkey. However, he said that relations could change under president Trump. Erdogan said: "We will continue to take any measures as long as the threats persist... We will not allow efforts to form a terror corridor at our southern border."
The US has been complaining that Turkey has been carrying out attacks without any coordination with their coalition partners. This is very problematic for the Pentagon since it has US special forces embedded with the YPG both in operations against the IS and in training missions. The US is also concerned that the Turkish attack on Kurds will undermine the battle against the IS in both Syria and Iraq.
The US has now deployed more members of their special forces along with armored vehicles along the border between Kurdish-controlled north-east Syria and Turkey. Most of the troops are around the town of Darbasiay around which there was heavy fighting with Turks earlier in the week. Although the US commanders claim they are only monitoring the situation, the local Kurds say the deployment is an attempt to create a buffer zone to limit fighting between the two sides.
There is disagreement about the exact aim of the attacks from the Turkish side, but it may cause even more tension with the US who have shown no sign of abandoning their support for the Kurds. The Turks would like to a part of a joint operation to take the city of Raqqa, the main city left in control of the IS in Syria. However, the US has showed no sign of following such a suggestion. There are more US troops apparently being sent to the Raqqa area to help the YPG in the offensive. However, some have gone to the Manbij area hoping that they wont be attacked by Turkish backed insurgents should the Turks decide to try and dislodge the Kurds. The Russians also condemned the Turkish strikes saying that they violated Syrian sovereignty as well as helping terrorists.


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