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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a meeting of local administrators at his palace in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, March 16, 2016. Tayyip Erdogan says US and Russian weapons are ending up in the hands of the Kurdistan workers' Party, or PKK, which his country considers a terrorist organization. (Murat Cetinmuhurdar, Pool)

Turkey's campaign against the Kurds could weaken the fight against ISIS



Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency announced Sunday that the country's military had "neutralized" 25 Kurdish fighters in airstrikes across the Syrian border. 

The country's Anadolu Agency also cited the Turkish military, saying the attack was carried out against "terrorist groups" who had attacked Turkish soldiers supporting a Free Syrian Army operation targeting Islamic State militants. Five buildings which belonged to the Kurdish rebels were also destroyed.

Turkish military officials added that they were taking "all necessary measures" to prevent civilian casualties.

The BBC, however, reported that at least 35 civilians and four militants were killed by airstrikes in the area. 

Turkey's conflict with the Kurds could further complicate the country's effort to drive ISIS out of the region, according to USA Today. 

What is Operation Euphrates Shield?

Turkey's Euphrates Shield operation, which began Aug. 24, "is aimed at improving border security, supporting coalition forces and eliminating the threat posed by terror organizations," according to the Anadolu Agency. 

One of those terrorist organizations is ISIS. However, Turkey is also targeting Kurdish militia fighting ISIS in Syria. 

The Kurds have a strong presence in northern Syria and southeastern Turkey, among other

Middle Eastern countries. 

Rebels from the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) have been fighting in the region for decades, trying to gain an autonomy inside Turkey, according to USA Today. 

A two-year cease-fire ended last year and since then, the PKK has been blamed for several attacks in Turkey. 

The Turkish government views Syrian Kurds as a branch of the PKK, which means they basically consider them terrorists.

So what does all this mean for the fight against ISIS? 

Well, it basically means there isn't a united front in the fight against ISIS. 

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims the Kurds are trying to create a Kurdish state along the Turkish-Syrian border. 

Just last week, Vice President Biden said the U.S., which considers Turkey a crucial ally but has also backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, would withdraw support to its Syrian Kurdish allies if they don't leave the key areas along the Turkish border. 

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