Turkey air strikes on Kurds in Syria and Iraq spark US concern

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

The US-backed Popular Protection Units (YPG), fighting against IS, said their positions were hit multiple times.

Turkey regards the YPG as linked to outlawed Kurdish separatists. Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga, friendly to Turkey, also reportedly suffered fatalities.

The Iraqi government condemned the strikes carried out on its territory.

US state department spokesman Mark Toner said: “We are very concerned, deeply concerned that Turkey conducted air strikes earlier today in northern Syria as well as northern Iraq without proper co-ordination either with the United States or the broader global coalition to defeat IS.”

He added: “We have expressed those concerns to the government of Turkey directly.”

Iraqi government spokesman Saad al-Hadithi said: “The Iraqi government condemns and rejects the strikes carried out by Turkish aircraft on Iraqi territory.”

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended the air strikes, telling Reuters: “We are obliged to take measures. We must take steps.

“We shared this with the US and Russia and we are sharing it with Iraq as well. It is an operation that (Iraqi Kurdistan President Massoud) Barzani has been informed about.”

The number killed has not been confirmed but reports suggest about 18 YPG and five Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga members died.

Source- BBC Middle East

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