September 7, 2016 / 4:11 PM / 3 years ago

Syrian Kurdish fighters still not pulled back in north Syria: Turkey's Canikli

A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) carries his weapon as he stands past a tank in the Ghwairan neighborhood of Hasaka, Syria, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Syrian Kurdish fighters have not completely pulled back to the east of the Euphrates river, Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Wednesday, voicing a frequent complaint about the advance of the U.S.-backed militia in northern Syria.

Ankara, which sees the Syrian Kurdish YPG as an extension of the Kurdish PKK group fighting an insurgency on Turkish soil, wants the Syrian militia to pull back to the east of the Euphrates, where there is a Kurdish-controlled canton.

Differences over the YPG have added to the tension between Turkey and NATO ally the United States. Washington sees the YPG as a successful client in fighting Islamic State in Syria, while Turkey calls it a terrorist organization.

Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Edmund Blair

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