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Turkey ups the ante in Syria

Turkey's shelling of YPG positions in Syria is not only fueling animosity between Ankara and Moscow, but is also causing fresh tensions with the United States.

Turkey has raised the stakes in Syria by unleashing a campaign of heavy cross-border shelling against Russian-supported fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) that Ankara insists will continue despite international calls to desist. Ankara wants to prevent the Kurdish group, which it considers a terrorist organization allied with the Kurdistan Workers Party, from gaining more territory along Turkey’s border with Syria. In a separate development bound to further increase tensions, Turkey also shelled Syrian military positions across the border from Hatay province around the same time it unleashed its campaign against the YPG.

Turkish military sources told the daily Hurriyet that the shelling of Syrian army and YPG positions was in response to mortar attacks against Turkish territory. While this might be true with regard to the Syrian army, remarks by Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu indicate that Turkey has broader goals when it comes to the YPG.

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