Pentagon: Meetings ongoing to deescalate tensions in Sinjar, Syria

Pentagon: Meetings ongoing to deescalate tensions in Sinjar, Syria
A U.S. military commander (2nd R) walks with the People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters at the YPG headquarters that was hit by Turkish airstrikes in Mount Karachok near Malikiya, Syria April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
4 years ago

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SULAIMANI – The United States Department of Defense said meetings are ongoing to deescalate tensions in Sinjar and Syria, after Turkish warplanes launched airstrikes in both areas.

“At the moment … we are aware of the reporting. We are monitoring the developments,” the Department of Defense Press Office told NRT on Tuesday (April 25).

“The meetings in progress [are] to deescalate tensions in Sinjar, Iraq, and Derik, Syria,” the Pentagon’s Press Office added.

A military helicopter carrying U.S. military officials arrived at the headquarters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) on Tuesday after it had been hit earlier in the day by Turkish airstrikes in the Mount Karachokh area near Al-Malikiyah (Derik).

Reuters reported that at least 18 YPG fighters had died in the bombardment. The YPG said a number of its fighters had been killed but has yet to release a figure.

Turkish warplanes launched air raids against both the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)-affiliated YBS in Sinjar and YPG positions in Mount Karachokh at 2 a.m. on Tuesday. According to the YBS, one fighter was killed and another one was also wounded.

The air raids in Sinjar included a strike on a Peshmerga headquarters that killed five Peshmerga and wounded nine others.

The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Peshmerga said in a statement that the airstrikes on the Peshmerga were “unacceptable,” and urged the PKK to withdraw its fighters from Sinjar.

The air raids on Sinjar came after Turkish officials have repeatedly said Turkey would not allow Sinjar to become another Qandil – a mountainous area in the Kurdistan Region where the PKK has formed a base over recent years.