Syria Kurds halt all joint ops with US-led coalition after Turkish fire: spokesman
The Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed group that helped defeat Islamic State jihadists in Syria, has stopped all joint counter-terrorism operations as a result of Turkish bombardment on its area of control, a spokesman said Friday.
Aram Henna told Reuters that "all coordination and joint counter-terrorism operations with the coalition" had been halted.
Turkey has been threatening a new incursion into northern Syria for months, and stepped up preparations last month after a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul it blamed on Kurdish militants.
Turkey sees the Kurdish YPG militia, the leading presence in the US-allied Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as the Syrian wing of the PKK militant group and labels both of them as terrorist organisations.
The PKK is also considered a terrorist group by the United States and the European Union.
The PKK and SDF have denied involvement in the November 13 bombing of a busy pedestrian avenue in Istanbul.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on Wednesday told his Turkish counterpart of his "strong opposition" to a new Turkish military operation in Syria and voiced concern over the escalating situation in the country.