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

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

Buildings which were damaged during the security operations and clashes between Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants, are pictured in Sur district of Diyarbakir, Turkey February 11, 2016. REUTERS/Sertac Kayar

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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