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Ankara sends its troops deeper into Syria but the US issues a warning over Turkish - Kurdish violence

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By Euronews
Ankara sends its troops deeper into Syria but the US issues a warning over Turkish - Kurdish violence

<p>Ankara is sticking to its aim of pushing both <span class="caps">ISIL</span> militants and Kurdish fighters away from its border by sending its own forces deeper in to Syria.</p> <p>Both Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army (<span class="caps">FSA</span>) they are backing have already driven <span class="caps">ISIL</span> out of Jarablus.</p> <p>The Turkish military carried out 61 artillery strikes on 20 targets around Jarablus in 24 hours, Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu reported on Monday.</p> <p>Turkey has insisted Kurdish militia, which it regards as terrorists, retreat east across the Euphrates river.</p> <h3>critical</h3> <p>But the US is highly critical of the continuing offensive as the Turks are increasingly attacking Kurdish-aligned forces which Washington sees as an effective force against <span class="caps">ISIL</span>.</p> <p>The US says attacks on Syrian Democratic Forces (<span class="caps">SDF</span>) which includes Kurdish Popular Protection Units (<span class="caps">YPG</span>) is unacceptable.</p> <p>“We do not support, and we would oppose efforts, to move south and engage in activities against the Syrian Democratic Forces. Further action against the <span class="caps">SDF</span> would complicate efforts to have that united front against <span class="caps">ISIL</span> that we want,” said Washington spokesperson Ben Rhodes.</p> <h3>Turkish concerns</h3> <p>Turkish which is fighting its own Kurdish insurgency back home became increasingly concerned as Kurdish expansion in Syria increased after the <span class="caps">SDF</span> took control of the strategic Syrian city of Manbij from <span class="caps">ISIL</span> two weeks ago.</p> <p>Turkish-backed troops now appear headed for Manbij which the <span class="caps">SDF</span> recently retook from <span class="caps">ISIL</span>. <span class="caps">SDF</span> fighters say they are reinforcing the town but that won’t include Kurdish <span class="caps">YPG</span> fighters.</p> <p>Washington has urged Turkey to stay focused on <span class="caps">ISIL</span> and not engage the <span class="caps">SDF</span>. The issue is likely to feature in bilateral talks between Turkey and the US at next month’s G20 summit in China next month.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">NY Time stated it well claiming <span class="caps">CIA</span>+Pentagon fighting each other in Syria. What a mess the US has made supporting Kurds+Turkey at same time.</p>— Louis Fishman (@Istanbultelaviv) <a href="https://twitter.com/Istanbultelaviv/status/770404600021131264">August 29, 2016</a></blockquote> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>