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Turkey threatens ground assault into Syria, CC BY 3.0 <>, via Wikimedia Commons

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is threatening to start an offensive against U.S.-backed Kurdish forces in Syria to push them further from Turkey’s southern border.

Turkey launched air strikes in northern Syria in retaliation for the Nov 13 Istanbul bomb attack that it blames on YPG militia. Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The Pentagon said the Turkish air strikes threatened the safety of U.S. military personnel and that the escalating situation jeopardized years of progress against Islamic State militants in the area.

The United States has roughly 900 soldiers in Syria, mainly working with the SDF in the northeast.