Ceasefire holding between Turkey and Kurdish fighters in Syria

Ceasefire holding between Turkey and Kurdish fighters in Syria

Ceasefire holding between Turkey and Kurdish fighters in Syria

It's true that Ankara's motives for directly entering the Syrian war do not cleanly overlap with Washington's and are in direct conflict with those of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is a USA ally in the fight against the Islamic State but is considered a terrorist group by Turkey.

The U.S.is backing both Kurdish fighters and Turkey in the multilayered Syrian war, even as the two sides have exchanged fire inside northern Syria over the past three days. The US and allies have supported various forces opposing him.

"We, the Military council of Jarablus and its countryside, announce the withdrawal of our forces to the line south of the Sajour River to preserve the lives of civilians and so that no pretext remains for continued strikes on villages and civilians", an online statement from the military council said, as cited by Reuters. However, as Turkey targeted Kurdish forces with air strikes and clashes between the SDF and rebels intensified, the U.S. backed away, calling the situation "unacceptable" and stressing that it was not participating in the Turkish action against the SDF. This has left the United States heavily dependent on the PYD, an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) - a USA -designated terrorist group - and a sworn enemy of Turkey.

In the battle against ISIS, however, the United States has cobbled together an unlikely array of proxies and partners to tackle the group.

The increased tensions between the Central Intelligence Agency and Pentagon-backed Syrian rebels and Kurdish forces threaten to take resources and attention away from the campaign against the Islamic State. "We're working to prevent that", Votel said, adding that the USA military would only support efforts to combat ISIS and not pursue other goals in Syria.

"Ultimately, Syria could yet turn into a territorial extension of the protracted fighting between Turkey and the PKK going on since 1984", he warned.

FILE - Turkish troops return from the Syrian border, in Karkamis, Turkey, Aug. 27, 2016.

Leaders and representatives of various rebel factions told The National that less than a week after Ankara launched its ground and air offensive across the border, they are close to clearing ISIL from its last stretch of border with Turkey for good.

Turkey-backed forces seized Jarablus from Islamic State militants last week.

"However, if the YPG stays in Manbij, we are likely to see the FSA continue fighting until they capture the city".

They said Ankara's true aim was to smother the Kurdish autonomous region in the north. But there has so far been no announcement from the YPG.

"In the end, it is hard to imagine that the different actors can simultaneously remain in alignment on the Kurdish question while maintaining a brutal fight elsewhere". Turkey insists that the YPG forces should not pass to the west of the Euphrates River.

"The YPG is engaged in ethnic cleansing, they are placing who they want to in those places", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

The army said it had already cleared 400 square kilometres (150 square miles) of "terrorist elements" but the government hinted it could push further south, towards the city of Manbij which the SDF wrested from IS earlier this month.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Monday the USA was working to stop the fighting among its allies along the border. If not, a drawn-out conflict between America's allies could allow ISIS time to regroup right when it's being squeezed on all sides.

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