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Erdogan: Turkey Won't Allow Kurdish Stronghold In Syria

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Turkey will not allow the creation of a Kurdish stronghold in northern Syria.

Erdogan said on February 17 that Turkey doesn't intend to stop shelling positions of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia.

He added that the United States should decide whether it wants to back Turkey or the Kurdish militants.

Erdogan said that ignoring the link between Syrian Kurds and Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) was a "hostile act."

U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish fighters have taken advantage of an offensive by Syrian government forces in the country’s north to seize territory near the Turkish border.

Meanwhile, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova described Turkey's actions on the border with Syria as "absolute lawlessness."

“Turkey is shelling populated areas across its border and sending money, people, and materiel there, just because it simply cannot tolerate that these districts are being freed from terrorists and extremists," Zakharova said.

Based on reporting by AFP, Reuters, and Interfax