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Growing tension over new Turkish military offensive in Syria and Iraq


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Growing tension over new Turkish military offensive in Syria and Iraq

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Tensions are growing over Turkey’s new military offensive in Syria and Iraq, with Kurdish fighters in northern Syria accusing the Turkish army of shelling their positions.

Turkey denies the report, but officials earlier said soldiers had fired back after coming under attack from across the border.

The outlawed PKK-Kurdistan Workers Party has condemned the military action and there are fears a fragile peace process between it and the government has come to an end.

Mevlut Cavusoglu, the Turkish Foreign Minister, told reporters:
“During the operations that we conducted against both Daesh (ISIL) and PKK in Syria and in Iraq we informed the UN Security Council, as well as the UN Secretary General and the members. (…). We expect solidarity and support from our NATO allies regarding the security threats and Daesh is our common enemy.”

Previously reluctant to join the US-led fight against ISIL, Turkey has launched airstrikes against Kurdish camps and ISIL militants in Syria after a string of border attacks.

It says it wants to create a secure “buffer zone” in northern Syria.

Two soldiers have been killed in a bomb attack in Turkey, seen as PKK retaliation for the airstrikes, and three Turkish policemen have been killed in other attacks.

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