February 17, 2016 / 12:21 PM / in 2 years

Turkey's Erdogan: No intent to stop retaliatory shelling against Syrian Kurds

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkey does not intend to stop shelling Syrian Kurdish YPG militia in response to cross-border fire, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday, adding the United State should decide whether it wants to back Turkey or the Kurdish insurgents.

The rapid of advance of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters, who are taking advantage of Russian air strikes in the region to seize territory near the Turkish border, has infuriated Ankara, which sees the insurgents as a terrorist organization. Turkey has been shelling YPG positions for days.

Erdogan also said that ignoring the link between Syrian Kurds and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was a “hostile act”.

Reporting by Asli Kandemir and Nick Tattersall; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Toby Chopra

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