Kurds in Northern Syria Fear New Turkish Incursion

Kurds in Northern Syria Fear New Turkish Incursion

"We will make the real owners of those weapons. pay for any bullet that will be fired to our country, for every drop of blood that will be shed", he said.

Mattis' recent letter to Turkey discusses the PYD - considered by Ankara an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) and therefore a terrorist organization - and its People's Protection Units (YPG) to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

It was not clear whether there were any casualties in the exchange of fire.

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

An unknown number of US special operations forces have surfaced in a Kurdish-controlled city in northern Syria near the Turkish border as the USA -led coalition struggles to prevent the war against ISIS from escalating into a full-blown regional conflict, Military Times reports.

Turkey's military is gearing up for an all-out offensive on areas now held by Kurdish militia in northern Syria, local media reported on Thursday.

Bottas fastest ahead of Raikkonen in final practice in Baku
Bottas led qualifying and set an even quicker time on his final lap, only for Hamilton to beat him by almost half a second. Valtteri was on a great lap as well, so when I came across the line and saw that I had pole, it was such a good feeling.

Turkey considers the PYD/YPG to be the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization in Turkey, the US and EU.

Both the YPG and the Turkish government claim to be fighting the Islamic State in Syria.

The YPG are the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) supported by the United States in Syria.

As of this Monday, reports suggest that the SDF have largely managed to successfully encircle the city of Raqqa, but the urban battle to rid the city of ISIS terrorists will be arduous. Mattis responded to the question of whether aid would be a weapon or not. "In the first two weeks [of the campaign], there was significant progress-very quick progress that was made... the SDF in the advance have since hit some significant resistance from ISIS", U.S. coalition spokesman Col. Ryan Dillon said on Sunday. And he also sounded a cautionary tone when asked if all the weapons would be returned.

"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.

And as the fight moves beyond Raqqa to other IS-held territory along the river, Mattis said the crowded field of forces - from Russia, Syria, Hezbollah and the coalition - will have to work to avoid conflicts on the ground.

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