Turkey troops, rebels battle Kurdish-led militia

Turkey troops, rebels battle Kurdish-led militia

Despite Ankara's protests, Washington believes the YPG is the most effective fighting force against the Islamic State group in Syria.

Still, the Turkish strikes elicited dismay in Washington by upsetting Kurdish allies the U.S.is preparing directly to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State and make other gains against the extremist group in northern Syria, the official said.

Carter's claim of an agreement was countered nearly immediately by the Iraqi government, which had earlier indicated that it would attack any Turkish forces attempting to advance on the city. Iraqis have repeatedly called on Ankara to withdraw its contingent of troops from a camp north of Mosul, but the plea has fallen on deaf ears.

Abadi responded with a derisive reference to the attempted coup against Erdogan in July, which the Turkish leader beat back in part with deft use of social media to rally his loyalists.

Turkey invaded northern Syria in late August, in large part to prevent the establishment of a de-facto Kurdish state.

Meanwhile, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says Turkey is ready to "take measures" in northern Iraq because Ankara is not satisfied with promises from the United States and Baghdad about the role of Kurdish militants and Shi'ite militia fighters in the battle for Mosul.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan after a news conference at the Presidential Palace in Ankara December 1, 2014. Every power in the region has a different goal: Barzani's KRG wants to control north of Mosul; the PKK dreams of a canton at Sinjar; Nujaifi wants to recover his lost leadership of Mosul; and Shiite Arabs see control of Mosul as part of their regional power struggle that will enable them to dominate the city with USA support. "We will not wait for terrorist organizations to come and attack us". A massive military operation against suspected PKK positions southeast of Turkey has claimed many lives, with rights campaigners and pro-Kurdish political parties accusing the military of indiscriminately targeting the civilians.

If the YPG, which is linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), seizes al-Bab, there would be a corridor connecting Syrian Kurdish regions east and west of the Euphrates River - something Turkey has vowed not to let happen.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency said as many as 200 members of the Kurdish-led forces were killed in Syria's Aleppo province by the Turkish bombing and shelling.

Turkey struck hundreds of U.S. -backed Syrian rebels Thursday, just a week before a visit by U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter. We work through issues as they arise.

The statement gave no precise location for the attacks but the PKK/PYD has recently been attempting to take Al-Bab, a city around 37 kilometers (23 miles) northeast of Aleppo, in a bid to unite two areas it controls - Afrin and Manbij. "In the strangest of ways", he said, Islamic State, also known as ISIS, serves as a kind of buffer between them.

The misunderstanding of the basics of regional geopolitics aside, this twisted interpretation of events has rendered the Turkish government and public opinion even more sensitive to the changing balances in post-Arab Spring Syria and Iraq.