10:08 GMT +323 May 2017
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    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) speaks during a joint news conference with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in Istanbul, Turkey

    Biden Calls on Turkey to Stop Shelling Syria, Show 'Reciprocal Restraint'

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    US Vice President Joe Biden in a conversation with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu called for cessation of Turkish artillery strikes in northern Syria, the White House said Sunday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – On Saturday, Turkish forces began shelling the positions of Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria's Aleppo region.

    Turkish forces bombed a village and an airbase that were recently captured by Kurds, Al Mayadeen TV reported Saturday. Prior to being captured by the YPG, the village and the airbase belonged to al-Nusra Front terrorist organization.

    On Saturday, Davutoglu said Turkish forces shelled Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) positions in northern Syria as a retaliatory measure. Syria's Foreign Ministry branded the shelling as a "direct support of terrorists" on Sunday.

    "The Vice President… urged Turkey to show reciprocal restraint by ceasing artillery strikes in the area," the White House said in a statement.

    Biden noted the US efforts to "discourage Syrian Kurdish forces from exploiting current circumstances to seize additional territory" near the Syria-Turkish border, the statement read.

    Biden and Davutoglu vowed to work together and emphasized the need to protect vulnerable civilians in the region and keep routes of humanitarian assistance to the Aleppo province open.

    Ankara claims that Syrian Kurds have links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a militant group fighting for Kurdish independence from Turkey.

    Related:

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    Tags:
    shelling, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Joseph Biden, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey, Syria, United States
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