After Turkish and Kurdish Forces Clash, US Troops Deploy in Northern Syria

Ankara is gravely concerned by photos of USA soldiers attending the funerals of Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) militants, who it says are linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), in the wake of Turkish air strikes on the two groups, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said.

Erdogan said that when he meets with U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on May 16 he hopes to change the American leader's mind about U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish fighters.

Speaking in Istanbul, Mr Erdogan insisted that United States support for such groups "must come to an end" and said he would bring the matter up at a meeting with President Donald Trump next month.

On Friday, US troops embedded with the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia - without the consent of Damascus - began patrolling on the other side of the frontier in a clear warning to Ankara not to repeat last week's air raids on US allies in Syria.

THE US has reportedly sent troops to the border between Turkey and the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Syria, in an apparent response to a spate of Turkish assaults on Kurdish targets.

"We tell our American friends not to take terrorists with them", Erdogan said in comments broadcast live on network NTV.

"The huge America, the coalition and Turkey can join hands and turn Raqa into a graveyard for Daesh", President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an Istanbul meeting, using an alternative name for the IS group.

Redur Khalil, the spokesman for the YPG in Syria, said his group has information that Turkey is reinforcing its border posts opposite Tal Abyad as well as other border posts. It launched airstrikes against the YPG last week, killing 20 fighters and media activists.

Journalist Mohammed Hassan, who published some of the images, did not provide the exact location where they were taken, saying only that USA troops were spotted between Rojava and Turkey.

The Turkish airstrikes also wounded 18 members of the US -backed People's Protection Units, or Y.P.G., were criticized by both the USA and Russian Federation.

The People's Protection Units are distrusted by Turkish-backed anti-government forces in Syria, who say the group is an ally of President Bashar Assad's government.

Turkey's President Erdogan, however, insisted that the YPG fired first today, and that their strikes were simply "retaliation" over "serious" mortar attacks on their bases. "We are not going to tip off the terror groups and the Turkish Armed Forces could come at any moment".

But it said while the YPG was counting on American and also Russian support as a bulwark against Turkey, the importance of the country will mean Trump will have an ear for Erdogan's concerns.

Turkey, however, has remained hostile to the Kurdish People's Protection Units, which form the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces.

The area, which includes Arbin, has been held under siege by government forces for more than three years. He knows that any attempt to combine YPG with PKK would run contrary to our core value of decentralization of power.

  • Leroy Wright