The Turkish army said today that the YPG launched mortar attacks from Afrin, northern Syria, on a border security post in Hatay, southern Turkey, which it responded to "in legitimate defence".
The air strikes in Syria targeted the YPG, which Turkey considers to be the Syrian branch of the PKK, but is a key ally for Washington and a major component of the US -backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab alliance fighting ISIS in Syria.
In Washington, the State Department said it was deeply concerned by the air strikes, which were not authorized by the USA -led coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
U.S. commandos are working with local Kurds on the ground, much to the fury of Turkey, which sees the Kurdish YPG forces as a terrorist offshoot of the PKK that has been waging an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.
Last year, Turkey sent troops into Syria to back Syrian opposition fighters in the battle against IS and curb the expansion of the US -backed Syrian Kurdish forces.
"We are also cognizant of the threat that the PKK poses to Turkey".
Turkey's state news agency published aerial footage of what it said were the airstrikes in Iraq, showing large explosions at what appeared to be three locations, including a site with a tower that crumpled after being hit.
The U.S.is especially concerned that Turkey gave little advance warning to the U.S. Combined Air Operations Center in Baghdad and described only a general area in which they would take place, Dorrian said.
Turkey says they're an extension of the PKK, and that PKK fighters are finding sanctuaries in Iraq and Syria.
"Not only were they fully coordinated, or not coordinated, within the coalition, but they put, frankly, U.S. soldiers at risk, who were operating in that area, but also resulted in the deaths of, for example, Iraqi Peshmerga who are fighting on the ground".
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The US has expressed "deep concern" at Turkish air strikes that killed about two dozen Kurdish fighters in Syria and Iraq.
The presence of a PKK affiliate in Sinjar is also rejected by Kurdish authorities who run their own autonomous region in northern Iraq and enjoy good relations with Turkey.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said that at least 18 YPG fighters were killed in the Syrian strikes.
Marine Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway, a Pentagon spokesman, said Turkey must prioritize the fight against the Islamic State.
Although Turkey regularly carries out airstrikes against PKK targets in northern Iraq, this was the first time it has struck the Sinjar region.
The Syrian Kurdish faction, the YPG, is a close ally of the United States, and has been heavily armed by them with an eye toward using them to fight against ISIS.
Turkey categorizes both as terrorist groups, but Washington considers them as an integral part of the global coalition to defeat Islamic State.
Sinjar Mayor Mahma Khalil said the strikes started at around 2:30 a.m., killing five members of the peshmerga and wounding nine. Tuesday's airstrikes exposed the complicated tangle of Kurdish militant groups in the region, and the tough choices that the United States faces in its regional alliances in the battle against ISIS.
The Turkish Air Force hit the respective areas on Tuesday, claiming that dozens of "terrorists" were killed.