News ID: 325544
Published: 0358 GMT November 22, 2022

Turkey tells U.S. to stop backing Syrian Kurdish militia

Turkey tells U.S. to stop backing Syrian Kurdish militia
The photo shows the aftermath after Turkish warplanes carried out air strikes in Derik countryside, Syria, on November 21, 2022.

Erdogan threatens Syria ground operation ‘as soon as possible’

REUTERS – Turkey called on the United States to halt support for a Syrian Kurdish militia on Tuesday after an escalation in retaliatory strikes along the border which prompted Washington to warn against military action that would destabilise Syria.

The comments came as Turkish artillery kept up bombardment of Kurdish bases and other targets near Tal Rifaat and Kobani, two Syrian military sources told Reuters.

Moscow, which is allied with Damascus, also called on Turkey to show restraint in its use of "excessive" military force in Syria and keep tension from escalating, Russian news agencies cited a Russian envoy to Syria as saying.

Turkey said the Syrian Kurdish YPG killed two people in mortar attacks from northern Syria on Monday, following Turkish air operations against the militia at the weekend and a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul a week earlier.

The YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said 15 civilians and fighters were killed in Turkish strikes in recent days.

Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar vowed to keep up operations against the militants, renewing calls for NATO ally Washington to stop backing forces in Syria that Ankara calls a wing of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

"We tell all our partners, notably the United States, at every level, that the YPG equals the PKK and persist with our demand that they halt every kind of support for terrorists," Akar told a parliamentary commission in a speech.

A child and a teacher were killed and six people were hurt on Monday when mortar bombs hit a border area in Turkey's Gaziantep province. Its armed forces responded with jets again hitting targets in Syria, a senior security official said.

President Tayyip Erdogan has said operations would not be limited to an air campaign and may involve ground forces. Turkey has mounted several major military operations against the YPG and Islamic State militants in northern Syria in recent years.

Ankara said its weekend operation was retaliation for a bomb attack in an Istanbul last week that killed six people, and which authorities blamed on the militants. Nobody has claimed responsibility and the PKK and SDF have denied involvement.





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