US-led anti-ISIL coalition patrolling Turkey-Syria border, US Central Command says
NEW YORKU.S.-led coalition forces against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), are patrolling the Turkey-Syria border in the wake of Turkey’s operation in Iraq and Syria, the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) told state-run Anadolu Agency on April 29.
“Coalition forces are conducting joint patrols along the northeastern Syria-Turkey border to assess reports from both the SDF and Turkey regarding skirmishes and cross-border fires between their respective security forces,” the statement said, referring to U.S.-allied Syrian Democratic Forces.
The purpose is “to discourage escalation and violence between two of our most trusted partners in the fight to defeat” ISIL, the statement said, adding that all parties in the region should remain focused on defeating the terror group.
Forty militants were killed in Iraq’s Sinjar, and another 49 were killed on April 25 in Syria’s Karaçok in airstrikes by Turkish forces against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG).
The U.S. cooperates with YPG fighters among SDF ranks, which Ankara protests.
The Turkish military said the April 25 strikes, which local governments, the U.S. and Russia had been notified of, were intended to prevent the PKK from sending militants, arms, ammunition, and explosives to Turkey.
Ankara on April 26 offered condolences to Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) President Masoud Barzani over the deaths of up to six Peshmerga troops in the airstrikes.
The U.S. also expressed concern about the deaths, saying the operation lacked coordination with the rest of the coalition.