Turkish army continues to pound northern Syria amid strong US rebuke

Turkish forces continued to pound 21 targets in northern Syria, the private Dogan news agency reported on Tuesday, amid a sharp rebuke from the United States over Ankara's actions against Kurdish fighters and a prodding to refocus on Islamic State.

The US is increasingly concerned that its NATO-ally Turkey and the Syrian Kurdish forces organized by Washington under the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) umbrella are clashing in northern Syria after the Turkish invasion last week.

"We have called on both sides to not fight with one another, to continue to focus the fight on ISIL. That is the basis for our cooperation with both of them," US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter said, using an acronym for Islamic State extremist group.

"We have called on Turkey to stay focused on the fight against ISIL and not to engage Syrian defence forces," he added.

Carter, and White House deputy national security advisor Ben Rhodes, both said the Syrian Kurds must began to withdraw to the east of the Euphrates River.

"We do not support and we would oppose efforts to move south and engage in activities against Syrian Democratic Forces, the SDF opposition that we have supported," Rhodes said, warning it could "complicate efforts to have united front against ISIL."

"At same time, we communicated to SDF that they should not be engaged in military activity against Turkish forces and they have a commitment to retrograde east of Euphrates river as well," he said.

Last update: Tue, 30/08/2016 - 09:52
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