US State Department spokesman John Kirby. Photo: AFP
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region—Washington has urged Turkey to stop shelling Syrian Kurds across the border, asking both sides to de-escalate the situation north of Aleppo.
"We are concerned about the situation north of Aleppo and are working to de-escalate tensions on all sides," US State Department spokesman John Kirby said Saturday.
Kirby also advised the People's Protection Units (YPG) against taking advantage "of a confused situation by seizing new territory."
"We have also seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires," Kirby stressed.
He called on Turkey and the YPG to focus on their common enemy, the Islamic State (ISIS).
"We continue to encourage all parties to focus on this common threat, which has not subsided," Kirby said.
Turkish artillery shelled YPG positions on Saturday including the Menagh airbase, which was seized by the Kurdish forces from their Islamist rivals on Thursday.
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had warned earlier that Turkey would respond if the YPG did not leave the airbase, south of Azaz near the Turkish border.