Turkish army, Syrian Kurdish militia in new clashes

Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces stand on the Tabqa dam partially recaptured during their drive on the Islamic State group's stronghold in nearby Raqa

Turkish army, Syrian Kurdish militia in new clashes

Immediately after the strike, the leaders of our forces - known as the People's Protection Groups, or YPG - rushed from their operations center near Raqqa, where they've been working with the US military to push the Islamic State out of its Syrian stronghold, to view the site of the attack.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday if Ankara and Washington were to join forces they could turn the Syrian city of Raqqa into a "graveyard" for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Mr Erdogan is due to meet president Donald Trump on May 16 in the USA, the two men's first face-to-face summit since the American leader took office in January.

Hundreds of USA troops are deployed on the ground in Syria to support the Raqqa offensive.

The U.S. slammed the Turkish strikes, saying they were not approved by the U.S. -led coalition and "led to the unfortunate loss of life of our partner forces".

But the U.S. is concerned that Turkey's military operations in Syria are more focused on preventing Syrian Kurds from forming an autonomous region in northern Syria, along Turkey's border, which could embolden Turkey's own Kurdish minority.

The issue has been a source of tension between Ankara and Washington that threatens to hamper the fight against IS. "In this attack by the Turkish army, 20 of our comrades were killed and 18 of our comrades were wounded", the YPG said. The problem is that Turkey is also an ally of the U.S., although over the past two years relations between Turkey and all western North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies have deteriorated substantially for numerous familiar, and extensively discussed in the past, reasons.

U.S. President Donald Trump passed his 100th day in office on April 29.

Forty terrorists were killed at Iraq's Mt. Sinjar, and another 49 at Syria's Mt. Karacok in April 25 airstrikes by Turkish forces against the PKK and its Syrian offshoots, PYD and YPG.

A senior Kurdish official, Ilham Ahmad, also told AP that the United States forces began patrolling the border region Thursday in addition to their reconnaissance flights in the area. "We are not going to tip off the terror groups and the Turkish Armed Forces could come at any moment".

It said that Turkey had pressed ahead with the air strikes despite U.S. objections and this "should serve as a warning for what could lie in store".

The SDF announced that they had made enormous progress in Tabaqa, a strategic town that is key to controlling the biggest dam in Syria. Turkey fired a barrage of artillery at the YPG, who returned fire with rockets on Turkish outposts on the border.

"We will hold extensive meetings with Indian officials and business people", he said, adding that the visit will focus on the counterterrorism fight, cooperation across the business sector and the closure of FETÖ-linked schools in India.

"We hope that this military mobilization is not meant to provoke our forces or for another goal linked to entering Syrian territories".

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Adiyaman Governor Abdullah Erin said search teams including the Turkish Land Forces are now sweeping the area.

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