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Published: Tue, May 02, 2017
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Tensions rise between Turkey, US along Syrian border

Tensions rise between Turkey, US along Syrian border

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogansaid on Sunday that his country may take further action against Kurdish militants in Iraq and Syria, and insisted USA support for such groups "must come to an end".

An unnamed YPG commander said on Friday that U.S. forces would begin monitoring the situation along the Syria-Turkey frontier following cross-border skirmishes between the Turkish military and Syrian Kurdish forces earlier this week.

The patrols began on Friday and are being conducted mainly by special operations forces, a USA official told CNN.

USA military vehicles cruise towards the Syria-Turkey border to warn ISIS "We have United States forces that are there throughout the entirety of northern Syria that operate with our Syrian Democratic Force partners".

"The border is among the areas where they operate", Davis also said, adding that the USA wants Kurdish militia, including the Kurdish-dominated alliance of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), to focus on the liberation of the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, Islamic State's self-proclaimed capital in Syria, and "not to be drawn into conflicts elsewhere".

Both Turkey and the U.S have sent armored vehicles to the Turkish-Syrian border, as tensions rise in the region. "We won't provide a date and time for when we'll come".

The Turkish military has "retaliated" to a rocket attack on a Turkish border post, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported on Saturday, adding that the army said it had killed 11 militants.

The US administration is set to use YPG forces in a planned US-led offensive to retake Daesh's Syrian stronghold of Raqqah.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group, said the Syrian Democratic Forces' control of Tabqa was "practically total". The Turkish military said it killed at least 90 militants and wounded scores.

In an unusual move after days of border clashes between the Turkish army and YPG that followed the air strikes, the U.S. sent military vehicles to the Syrian side of the frontier to carry out patrols in an apparent bid to prevent further fighting.

The US backed the formation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by the YPG but also including Arab fighters, yet Ankara contends it is merely a front from the Kurdish group.

The attacks on the YPG, a key member of a US-backed militia fighting Islamic State in Syria, have further complicated relations with Washington.

Turkish officials announced the conclusion of Euphrates Shield in March but have said they would continue combatting terror to make its borders safe, pointing to both the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants. The town is mostly controlled by Kurdish forces, but Syrian government troops hold pockets of territory there, including the airport. "For its part, the United States has promised to make every effort to stop further assaults", the source said.

"Unfortunately... the presence of an American flag along with the [insignia] of a terror organization called YPG in a convoy has seriously saddened us", Erdogan said in Istanbul before heading on a trip to India.

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