Turkish PM says Ankara has struck Kurdish militia in Syria twice

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 27, 2015 4:38 AM

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey struck Kurdish militia fighters in Syria twice after they defied Ankara's warning not to cross west of the Euphrates river.

"We have said 'PYD will not cross west of the Euphrates, we would hit them the moment they do' and we have struck them twice," Davutoglu told AHaber Television late on Monday, without specifying an exact date for the incident.

Turkey fears advances by the Kurdish YPG militia, backed by its PYD political wing, on the Syrian side of its 900 km (560-mile) border will fuel separatist ambitions among Kurds in its own southeastern territories. But Washington has supported YPG fighters as an effective force in combating Islamic State.

Two senior officials told Reuters that Ankara has earlier this month warned the United States and Russia it will not tolerate Kurdish militias' encroaching on territory close to its frontiers in northwestern Syria.

(Reporting by Humeyra Pamuk; Editing by David Dolan and Angus MacSwan)