January 30, 2023

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US official urges ‘de-escalation’ as Turkey strikes Syria

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BEIRUT (AP) — A U.S. official in Syria on Friday referred to as for an “quick de-escalation” following days of lethal airstrikes and shelling alongside the Syria-Turkey border, saying the actions destabilize the area and undermine the combat towards the Islamic State group.

Turkey this week launched a wave of airstrikes on suspected Kurdish rebels hiding in neighboring Syria and Iraq, in retaliation for a lethal Nov. 13 bombing in Istanbul that Ankara blames on the Kurdish teams.

The teams have denied involvement within the bombing and say the Turkish strikes have killed civilians and threatened the anti-IS combat.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition battle monitor, stated that 67 civilians, gunmen and troopers, have been killed in Turkish assaults in northern Syria for the reason that airstrikes started.

Nikolas Granger, the U.S. senior consultant to northeastern Syria, stated Washington “strongly opposes navy motion that additional destabilizes the lives of communities and households in Syria and we would like quick de-escalation.”

The developments are “unacceptably harmful and we’re deeply involved,” stated Granger, who’s at the moment in Syria, and added that the strikes additionally endanger U.S. navy personnel there.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened a brand new land invasion of northern Syria focusing on Kurdish teams. On Friday, he stated Turkey would proceed its “battle towards all types of terror inside and out of doors our borders.”

Turkey and the US each contemplate the outlawed Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration, or PKK, a terror group for the decadeslong insurgency and assaults the group has staged inside Turkey’s borders.

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However they disagree on the standing of the principle Kurdish militia in Syria, the Individuals’s Safety Items, or YPG. The Syrian Kurdish group has been a key U.S. ally within the combat towards IS.

Turkey has carried out three main incursions into northern Syria since 2016 and its forces nonetheless management a part of the nation.

Kurdish officers in Syria have been warning that any new Turkish incursion would disrupt the combat towards IS, which nonetheless has sleeper cells and has carried out lethal assaults in current months towards the Syrian Kurdish-led opposition forces in addition to Syrian authorities forces.

“We take these threats severely and put together to confront any floor assaults,” Siamand Ali, a spokesman for the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces advised The Related Press.

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Related Press writers Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey, and Hogir Al Abdo in Qamishli, Syria, contributed to this report.

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