Obama and the Kurds: Turkish strikes vex Islamic State plan

FILE - In this Jan. 30, 2015, file photo, a Syrian Kurdish sniper looks at the rubble in the Syrian city of Ain al-Arab, also known as Kobani. Turkey’s dramatic air campaign against the Islamic State and Kurdish forces has created a bit of a conundrum for President Barack Obama, who is leading the fight against one of Turkey’s targets while relying heavily on the other target. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Turkey’s dramatic air campaign against the Islamic State and Kurdish forces has created a conundrum for President Barack Obama, who is leading the fight against one of Turkey’s targets while relying heavily on the other.

Obama has been pleading with Turkey for nearly a year to fight IS more aggressively and allow the U.S. military to launch airstrikes from Turkish soil.

Finally Turkey agreed in a deal announced last week. And days later, the U.S. said it would help Turkey oust IS from a 68-mile stretch in Syria along the Turkish border.

But in an unexpected twist, Turkey abruptly began bombing Kurdish rebels in Iraq. Iraqi Kurds are among the only forces that have proven capable of wresting back territory there from IS militants.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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