Moscow says concerned about Turkish airstrikes in Iraq, Syria

03 May, 2017, 01:43 | Author: Essie Rivera

In turn, the Turkish military released a statement saying that Turkish warplanes had bombed members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in northern Syria and in northern Iraq.

"These air strikes were not approved by the coalition and led to the unfortunate loss of life of our partner forces in the fight against Isis that includes members of the Kurdish Peshmerga", he said.

Syrian Democratic Council co-president Ilham Ahmad said local SDF commanders had asked the U.S. to prevent Turkish and Syrian jets flying over Rojava, the Kurdish-controlled zone of northern Syria.

Following the strikes by Turkish warplanes, the USA military dispatched troops to the scene in Syria to conduct a damage assessment and to check on its partner forces. He described the Turkish warning "as a notification, as opposed to coordination" with a trusted ally. Turkey has objected to that alliance because, it says, the SDF's largest component, the People's Protection Units (YPG), is a PKK affiliate. "We are fighting against [ISIS] with the United States, and Turkey is hitting us from behind, giving [ISIS] more oxygen", said Ilham Ahmed, the co-chair of the Democratic Syrian Council, in an interview with Al-Monitor.

"These are forces that have been integral in fighting ISIS. So that is our position on that".

Pressed on how much advance notice Turkey gave the U.S., Dorrian said it was "less than an hour".

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The Turkish government also stated it will "continue its fight against terrorism of all kinds" and the highlighted that "terrorist elements can not be legitimate partners in the fight against terrorism".

Dorrian spoke hours after the Turkish embassy in Washington issued a statement from the country's Foreign Ministry detailing what it said were the steps Turkey took to make the United States and other countries active in Syria aware of its plans, saying the United States and Russian Federation were "duly informed through both military and diplomatic channels".

The Turkish army fired back, killing three Kurdish fighters, it said.

That included, the ministry said, notifying the US air command center in Qatar and speaking with the head of the USA military. But a senior US official said it was about 20 minutes.

"We believe that our partner forces were struck in northern #Syria, and our Peshmerga partner forces were struck Sinjar Iraq", Col Dorrian added. "So it was an unsafe way to conduct operations". "The regime in Turkey has consistently harmed the good neighborly relations through countless violations against our citizens and fighters in northern Syria", the SDF said.

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