Turkey says it retaliated to 'harassing' YPG fire in northern Syria

Newroz a spring festival in Diyarbakir in March. Credit Bulent Kilic  Agence France Presse — Gett

Syrian refugees wait to enter Turkey after fleeing violence in Syria on the Syrian-Turkish border in Shamm Alqrain village, northern countryside of Aleppo January 13, 2014.

Turkey is also eager to move against ISIS, but has been so heavily involved in fighting the YPG as well that it's going to be hard for them to get into the area without completely derailing the US-backed Kurdish offensive and starting a whole separate war. He was, of course, referring to the United States, whose troops are now all that seem to be standing between Turkish troops and the YPG.

The Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, are a key part of the USA -backed Syrian Democratic Forces.

"Turkish officials could not immediately be reached for comment on the report, which said Turkey's military retaliated after YPG fighters opened fire on their positions", Reuters stated.

Rudaw cites the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights as reporting that the Turkish military has "shelled repeatedly" targets in Afrin, northern Syria.

Turkey returns fire on Kurdish YPG in northern Syria

On a different note, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey could launch a new cross-border operation in northern Syria. Reports stated that the letter pledges that the USA will take back the weapons supplied once the joint operation is over.

The SDF is leading the battle to liberate the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and has been provided with weapons and training by the USA military.

"This is a message from the United States to Turkey to stop attacking the YPG, since they fear this could threaten the anti-ISIS Raqqa operation", local Kurdish journalist Heybar Othman told ARA News. Mattis responded to the question of whether aid would be a weapon or not. And he also sounded a cautionary tone when asked if all the weapons would be returned.

Mattis said the USA has made it clear all along that, "we're going to equip them for the fight. I mean, it's not like the fight's over when Raqqa's over", Mattis asserted.

"When they don't need certain things any more, we'll replace those with something they do need", said Mattis, who is expected to meet with his Turkish defense counterpart during a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting later this week in Brussels.

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