Turkey Hits US-Backed Kurdish Fighters in Iraq's Sinjar, Northeast Syria

Following Turkey's airstrikes against PKK-affiliated groups, including the YPG in northern Iraq's Sinjar and northern Syria's Karachok towns on Tuesday, YPG militants targeted Turkish military outposts on the border with Syria in southern Hatay and southeastern Mardin provinces a day later.

Turkish military jets carried out airstrikes against Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) fighters in northern Iraq and northeast Syria, killing at least 24 people, Turkey's state-run Anadolu News said.

More than 20 people were killed when Turkey launched a series of air strikes against Kurdish militia groups in Syria and Iraq on Tuesday, attacking a key U.S. ally in the fight against ISIL in Syria and escalating the standoff between rival Kurdish parties in Iraq.

A Turkish military statement said the pre-dawn strikes hit targets on the Sinjar Mountain in northern Iraq and also in a mountainous region in Syria.

Earlier, the representative of U.S. state Department mark Toner said the concerns over the application of Turkey's strikes in the North of Syria and Iraq. The Turkish General Staff said the targets were hit to prevent the group from sending terrorists, arms, ammunition, and explosives to Turkey. Turkey is a member of the coalition and a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, and the United States has relied on its air bases to launch its fighter and support aircraft.

The Peshmerga released a statement blaming the strikes on the presence of the PKK group, which is usually based in Turkey.

The US has expressed "deep concern" at Turkish air strikes that killed about two dozen Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahebarra, reporting from Gaziantep on the Turkey-Syria border, said the air strikes come at a moment of strained ties between Turkey and Iraq.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Turkey gave coalition forces about 20 minutes notice before launching airstrikes on Kurdish troops in Syria this week, potentially putting American forces in the region at risk, US officials said Wednesday. Local Kurdish militias confirmed the strikes, giving of a lower number of dead and wounded among fighters and civilians.

Aside from aspirations for autonomy, the Kurdish group in Syria is part of the US -led worldwide coalition against the Islamic State militants who seized large swaths of Syria and Iraq in 2014.

Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Huseyin Muftuoglu said Ankara informed the American and Russian Federation military attaches in a statement while Turkish Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar also called his counterparts in Moscow and Washington.

In an emailed statement, the US -led coalition said Iraq's neighbors need to respect Iraqi sovereignty.

Beirut, Irbil - A Turkish-Kurdish dispute intensified Tuesday on the eve of preparations launched by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ahead of entering the city Raqqa, ISIS' stronghold in northern Syria. We told them to pull their troops 20-30km south away from our borders.

"Any operation that is carried out by Turkish government without any coordination with the Iraqi government is totally rejected", Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Ahmad Jamal, told The Associated Press. "We call on the global community to intervene to put an end to these ongoing attacks on our territory", the SDF said in a statement published late Tuesday.



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