Erdogan says Syria's Raqqa will 'turn into a graveyard' for Islamic State

Posted May 05, 2017

USA troops were seen Saturday in armored vehicles in Kurdish areas of Syria, a show of force apparently meant to dissuade Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces from attacking one another.

The new clashes came as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday warned the YPG that Turkey would fire back against any assault and thwart the creation of any Kurdish state in northern Syria.

Last week, Turkey struck at People's Protection Units positions inside Syria, killing 20 fighters and media activists, according to the group, prompting Kurdish parties to call for a USA -enforced no-fly zone over northern Syria.

Turkey has intensified attacks on the PKK in northern Iraq and its Syrian-Kurdish affiliate, the YPG, in northern Syria.

Al Jazeera's Hashem Ahelbarra, reporting from Gaziantep along the Turkey-Syria border, said USA troops have patrolled the area in what appears to be an attempt to de-escalate the situation between the Turkish military and YPG.

Turkey, however, considers the YPG a terrorist organization, the Syrian branch of its long-time enemy, the armed Kurdish Workers Party or PKK.

Turkey which is well-known for its inconsistent policy carried out air strikes in northern Syria and Iraq once again without proper coordination with the USA and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The Turkish airstrikes, which also wounded 18 members of the USA -backed People's Protection Units, or YPG, in Syria were criticized by both the US and Russian Federation.

Turkish officials announced the conclusion of Operation Euphrates Shield in March, but have said they would continue combating Daesh militants and Kurdish forces.

According to Turkish security officials who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media, the explosives and weapons the US provides to the PYD in Syria are used by PKK in terrorist attacks in Turkey.

Erdogan hinted that his country was also ready to repeat its attacks in Sinjar, Iraq, to prevent it from turning into a base for the Kurdish militia.

Erdogan said he will discuss the issue at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump next month. Ankara denies deliberately targeting them and offered condolences to Kurdish Regional Government President Masoud Barzani for the deaths of the Peshmerga forces, but offered no apologies for the deaths of the YPG.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have claimed an important victory over the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) by taking control of the old quarters of the strategically important northern Syrian town of Tabqa, reports Reuters.

Three huge armoured vehicles boasting massive machine guns then follow suit with the American flag proudly planted on each of them.

Turkey launched a military operation codenamed Operation Eurphrates Shield past year to push back both Isis and Kurds from its border, but ended the mission last month.

The U.S. has recently shifted from working quietly behind the scenes in Syria's conflict toward overt displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight.

"We hope that this military mobilization is not meant to provoke our forces or for another goal linked to entering Syrian territories". Americans provide these groups with weapons, ammo and even air support, to say nothing of special task forces involvement.