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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Turkey Seeks To Prevent Kurdish Autonomy, Not Fight IS, Analysts Suggest

TAF F-16 Fighting FalconPlans by Turkey and the United States to create an "Islamic State-free zone" in northern Syria along the Turkish border will serve Ankara's aims of stopping Kurdish militias from advancing in the area, analysts and Kurdish political leaders say.

The plan follows significant gains by the Kurdish People's Protection Units militia (YPG) against the IS militant group in northern Syria.

Last month, the YPG seized Tal Abyad, a key IS-held town, with the assistance of U.S. air strikes and Syrian Arab fighters. In doing so, the YPG cut off a major IS supply route but prompted thousands of Syrians to flee across the border to Turkey. On July 27, the YPG captured another town from IS, Sarrin near the Euphrates River, which IS fighters were using to launch attacks on Kobani close to the Turkish border.

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