U.S. and Russian troops in the areas of the attacks were warned about an hour before 24 Turkish jets and two Turkish drones bombed locations in northern Iraq and northeast Syria. Senior Russian officials contacted U.S. counterparts to try to get Turkey to back off the strikes, but those pleas were ignored by the Turks, officials said.
“Given the extraordinarily complex battlespace in these areas, it is vital that Turkey and all partners in the defeat-ISIS effort coordinate their actions closely as we work together to maintain maximum pressure on ISIS and ensure the safety of all Coalition personnel in theater,” Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian J.T. Rankine-Galloway told Fox News.
The U.S. views the Syrian-Kurdish People’s Protection Units, known as the YPG, as key allies in the fight against ISIS. Turkey views the group as an extension of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party, or PKK, a Turkish insurgent group that has conducted a decades long insurgency that's killed thousands. Both Ankara and Washington consider the PKK a terrorist organization.
Turkish airstrikes hit PKK positions "on and around Mt. Sinjar" earlier in the day, resulting in five deaths, according to a statement from the Ministry of Peshmerga Affairs.