Syrian Kurds plan to cut ISIL control of Turkish border area

The powerful Syrian Kurdish YPG militia and its local allies have drawn up plans for a major attack to seize the final stretch of the Syrian-Turkish border held by Islamic State fighters, a YPG source familiar with the plan said on Thursday.

Such an offensive could deprive Islamic State fighters of a logistical route that has been used by the group to bring in supplies and foreign recruits.

But it could lead to confrontation with Turkey, which is fighting against its own Kurdish insurgents and sees the Syrian Kurds as an enemy.

After a year of military gains aided by U.S.-led air strikes, the Kurds and their allies already control the entire length of Syria's northeastern Turkish frontier from Iraq to the banks of the Euphrates river, which crosses the border west of the town of Kobani.

Other Syrian insurgent groups control the frontier further west, leaving only around 100 km (60 miles) of border in the hands of Islamic State fighters, running from the town of Jarablus on the bank of the Euphrates west to near the town of Azaz.

But Turkey says it will not allow the Syrian Kurds to move west of the Euphrates.
The Turks evidently fear the Kurds more than ISIL.  This tends to add to the suspicion of some that Turkey has been supporting ISIL, at least, covertly, by buying oil and allowing it to supply its fighters by buying logistical supplies in Turkey.  It has also failed to close the border in such a way that would restrict the flow of foreign fighters into and out of ISIL held areas.


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