SDF retreating beyond Euphrates, Kerry tells Turkey

SDF retreating beyond Euphrates, Kerry tells Turkey
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Turkey that Syria Democratic Forces (SDF) are retreating to the east of the Euphrates River, a key aim of the major offensive the Turkish military launched in Syria, Radio Free Europe reported. 

Kerry and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu agreed that the U.S. would continue to cooperate with Turkey on its military operation, which allowed Free Syrian Army fighters to wrest control of the Syrian border town of Jarablus from ISIS, according to an e-mail from a Turkish official on Thursday. The campaign Turkey began on Wednesday is aimed as much at containing Kurdish advances as pushing ISIS, which has bombed Turkish cities, away from its frontiers.

Meanwhile, US-led coalition spokesman Colonel Christopher Garver said that SDF crossed to the east of the Euphrates River, according to Reuters

Turkey has insisted that SDF, which it views as extensions of the Kurdish separatist PKK it is fighting on its own soil, must retreat behind the river, a boundary backed by the U.S. Turkey has accused SDF of trying to take advantage of five years of fighting in Syria to expand their control of territory there, and is alarmed by their designs on an autonomous region on the border with Turkey’s Kurdish-dominated southeast.

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