August 29, 2016 / 11:49 AM / 3 years ago

U.S. says uncoordinated actions in north Syria help Islamic State

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) walk in the Ghwairan neighborhood of Hasaka, Syria, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Uncoordinated operations and maneuvers in northern Syria will give Islamic State more space, the U.S. Department of Defense said on Monday, calling on Turkey and Syrian opposition groups to stop fighting each other.

In a statement, it also said the United States had reiterated a demand that the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia cross back to the east of the Euphrates river and it understood that such a movement had “largely occurred”.

In a cross-border campaign in Syria, Turkey and its Syrian rebel allies have seized territory controlled by Kurdish-aligned forces. Turkish officials say their goal is to drive out Islamic State and prevent Kurdish forces extending its area of control.

Kurdish YPG fighters are backed by the United States in the fight against Islamic State. Turkey sees the YPG as an extension of the Kurdish PKK militant group that has waged a three-decade-old insurgency on Turkish soil.

Reporting by Phil Stewart; Writing by David Dolan; Editing by Edmund Blair

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