Turkey accused of bombing Kurdish fighters in Syria

The Associated Press reports: Turkish troops have shelled a Syrian village near the border, targeting Kurdish fighters who have been battling the Islamic State group with the aid of U.S.-led airstrikes, Syria’s main Kurdish militia and an activist group said Monday.

The Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG, said the Sunday night shelling on the border village of Til Findire targeted one of their vehicles. It said Til Findire is east of the border town of Kobani, where the Kurds handed a major defeat to the Islamic State group earlier this year.

In cross-border strikes since Friday, Turkey has targeted both Kurdish fighters as well as the IS group, stepping up its involvement in Syria’s increasingly complex civil war. The Syrian Kurds are among the most effective ground forces battling the IS group, but Turkey fears they could revive an insurgency against Ankara in pursuit of an independent state.

On Monday the YPG and Syrian rebels captured the town of Sareen in northern Syria, which had been held by the Islamic State group, according to The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Aleppo Media Center in Syria, two activist groups that track the civil war. [Continue reading…]

Bloomberg reports: U.S.-backed Kurds in Syria risk coming under attack from Turkey if they don’t align themselves with Turkish interests in the country.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told newspaper editors over the weekend that the Syrian Kurd PYD group battling Islamic State must side with “moderate rebels” supported by Turkey against the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“We want moderate rebels to replace” Islamic State fighters as they’re pushed back from Turkey’s border, Davutoglu said. The PYD will be treated “in the same way” as Islamic State “if they engage in activities that disturb us,” he said. [Continue reading…]

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