World News

Turkey operations against Islamic State, Kurdish PYD to secure border, Erdogan says

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has started operations targeting Islamic State and Syrian Kurdish fighters in northern Syria to end attacks on Turkey’s border, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday.

Turkish special forces units and jets supported by warplanes from the U.S.-led coalition launched an operation in northern Syria on Wednesday to wipe out Islamic State militants along the border, Turkish officials said.

“At 4:00 this morning, operations started in the north of Syria against terror groups which constantly threaten our country, like Daesh and the PYD,” he said in a speech in Ankara.

Daesh is an Arabic name for Islamic state, while PYD refers to the U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters.

A member of the U.S. coalition against Islamic State in Syria, Turkey disagrees with Washington’s support for Syrian Kurdish rebels. Ankara worries Syrian Kurdish advances in Syria against Islamic State will embolden Kurdish insurgents in Turkey.

Reporting by Orhan Coskun, Daren Butler and Ayla Jean Yackley; Writing by David Dolan; editing by Patrick Markey