Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Middle East | Syria | turkey | Syria | kurds | isis

Turkish Troops Target Kurds Battling ISIS in Syria

Monday, 27 Jul 2015 06:47 AM

Turkish troops have shelled a Syrian village near the border, targeting Kurdish fighters who have been battling the Islamic State (ISIS) 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 ISIS, stepping up its involvement in Syria's increasingly complex civil war. The Syrian Kurds are among the most effective ground forces battling the ISIS group, but Turkey fears they could revive an insurgency against Ankara in pursuit of an independent state.

The YPG did not say in its Monday statement whether there were casualties in the shelling.

The YPG said Turkey first shelled Til Findire on Friday, wounding four fighters of the rebel Free Syrian Army and several local villagers. It urged Turkey to "halt this aggression and to follow international guidelines."

There was no immediate Turkish confirmation of the shelling. A senior government official said he could not immediately confirm the report.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said four fighters were wounded in the village of Zor Maghar, which is also close to the Turkish border. Conflicting reports are common in the aftermath of violent incidents.

Earlier this month, Syria's main Kurdish party, the Democratic Union Party, or PYD, warned Turkey that any military intervention would threaten international peace and said its armed wing, the YPG, would face any "aggression."

Turkish police meanwhile raided homes in a neighborhood in the capital on Monday, detaining at least 15 people suspected of links to the Islamic State group, the state-run news agency said.

The Anadolu Agency said those detained in Ankara's Haci Bayram neighborhood include a number of foreign nationals. It did not give details of the foreigners' home countries.

Turkey has been carrying out airstrikes against ISIS targets in Syria and Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq. It has also arrested hundreds of people with suspected links to violent extremists.

On Sunday, it called for a meeting of its NATO allies to discuss threats to its security, as well as its airstrikes.

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Turkish troops have shelled a Syrian village near the border, targeting Kurdish fighters who have been battling the Islamic State (ISIS) group with the aid of U.S.-led airstrikes, Syria's main Kurdish militia and an activist group said Monday.
turkey, Syria, kurds, isis
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2015-47-27
Monday, 27 Jul 2015 06:47 AM
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