Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said today (April 30, 2017) his government is "seriously saddened" by U.S. military forces operating alongside Syrian Kurdish fighters that Ankara views as terrorists and Washington believes are the most effective fighting force against Islamic State (IS) jihadists, according to the VOA (Voice of America) News website.
Turkish forces last week launched airstrikes on Syrian Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG), which Ankara considers to be the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party, against which it has been waging a three-decade-long fight for control of southeastern Turkey. The Kurds are seeking to set up their own independent state in Turkey, which Turkey refuses to allow.
The U.S. slammed the Turkish strikes, saying they were not approved by the U.S.-led coalition and "led to the unfortunate loss of our partner forces."
After the Turkish attack, the U.S. sent military vehicles with American flags to the Syrian side of the border to patrol with YPG fighters, in order to prevent further attacks by Turkey.