Turkey Strikes US-Backed Fighters in Iraq, Syria

Turkish jets on Tuesday struck fighters in both northern Iraq and northern Syria, killing members of a group the US backs in the fight against ISIS but that Turkey views as an extension of a terrorist organization. The attack killed 18 US-back Syrian Kurdish troops and five members of the Iraqi peshmerga, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. No US troops were in the bombed positions. The Turkish government said the groups were allied with the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which is finding sanctuary in Iraq and Syria, according to The Associated Press. Iraqi officials condemned the attack as a violation of Iraq’s sovereignty. The Kurdistan regional government in a Tuesday statement condemned the airstrikes, and called on the PKK to leave Kurdistan. Both the US and Russia were notified of the strike before it was carried out, and both objected, according to FOX News. US State Department spokesman Mark Toner said during a Tuesday briefing that the US is “deeply concerned” about Turkey’s decision to strike.