ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Sunday his country may take further action against Kurdish militants in Iraq and Syria and insisted U.S. support for such groups "must come to an end."
The U.S. moved troops and armored vehicles through several Syrian cities and towns on Friday and Saturday in a show of force apparently intended to dissuade Turkey and Syrian Kurdish forces from attacking each other.
Kurdish officials described the U.S. troop movement as a "buffer" between them and Turkey.
US forces patrol Syrian border amid clashes between Turkey and Kurdish militants
The U.S. has provided air cover and other support to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. In Syria, it is working with the Syrian Democratic Forces, which is dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Units, or YPG, but also includes Arab fighters.
Video from northern Syria shows the U.S. patrols parked alongside Kurdish units flying the YPG flag.
This Friday, April 28, 2017, still taken from video, shows U.S. forces patrolling on a rural road in the village of Darbasiyah, in northern Syria. U.S. armored vehicles are deploying in areas in northern Syria along the tense border with Turkey, a few days after a Turkish airstrike that killed 20 U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters, a Syrian war monitor and Kurdish activists said Friday.
Photo Credit: AP Photo via APTV
Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organization and an extension of the Kurdish militants who have been waging a three-decade-long insurgency. It launched airstrikes against the YPG last week, killing 20 fighters and media activists.
US criticizes Turkey for striking Kurds in Iraq, Syria
"We will be forced to continue (our offensives)," Erdogan said. "We won't provide a date and time for when we'll come. But they will know that the Turkish military can come."
Erdogan said he would discuss the issue at a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump next month.