US Says ‘Very Concerned’ About Turkish Air Strikes On Syrian Kurds

The U.S. State Department has expressed its concern over Turkish air strikes on Syrian Kurdish militants in northern Syria, allied forces in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), says that strikes were not approved by anti-ISIS coalition.

On Tuesday, the Turkish military carried out a number of raids targeting PKK positions in Sinjar and the Syrian city of Malikiya. Sinjar is a small town in Iraq’s Kurdistan and is famed for sheltering Yazidi minority fleeing ISIS. The PKK rebels were hailed last year for helping the escape of Yazidis from ISIS.

As soon as Turkey launched the air campaign against Kurdish rebels in Syria and Iraq, the PKK killed at least 5 Turkish troops in 3 separate attacks in Sirnak and Kars on Tuesday.

Several Kurdish parties, including People’s Democracy Party (HDP), urged Kurdish people to go out on streets to protest against the military campaign against Kurdish militants in Syria and Iraq.

Following the airstrikes on Tuesday, Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga issued a statement saying that 5 of its soldiers died in the raids.

“This painful and unacceptable attack on Peshmerga forces by Turkish warplanes is a result of PKK’s presence in and around Sinjar,” the ministry said, calling on the PKK to withdraw from the area.

At the same time, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry called the Turkish strikes “violation of Iraq’s sovereignty”.

Earlier this month, when the speculations about Turkey preparing for a military action on the territory of Iraq were mounting, the coalition told The Globe Post that it wants Turkey and other allies to focus on fighting ISIS, not the Kurds.

On Monday, the coalition conducted 8 strikes against ISIS positions near Sinjar destroying the terror group’s weapons facilities, staging areas and a weapons cache along with a VBIED and an IED factories.

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