ANKARA – Turkish warplanes struck suspected Kurdish rebel positions in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday, drawing condemnation from Baghdad and criticism from the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group, which is allied with Kurdish factions in both countries. Syrian activists said the attack killed at least 18 members of the Syrian Kurdish militia known as the People's Protection Units, or YPG, which is a close U.S. ally against IS but is seen by Ankara as a terrorist group because of its ties to Turkey's Kurdish rebels. The airstrikes also killed five members of the Iraqi Kurdish militia known as the peshmerga, which is also battling the extremist group with help from the U.S.-led coalition. The YPG said the strikes hit a media center, a local radio station, a communication headquarters and some military posts, killing an undetermined number of fighters in the town of Karachok, in Syria's northeastern Hassakeh province. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition group that monitors all sides of the conflict, said the strikes killed 18 YPG fighters.
Below are the developments up to October 21. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is due in Saudi Arabia on Saturday to discuss the Qatar-Gulf crisis. Tillerson's tour of the region comes amid US frustration over the lack of movement in the crisis. "I do not have a lot of expectations for it being resolved anytime soon," he said in an interview with financial news agency Bloomberg on Thursday. Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad received Kuwaiti Foreign Minister Sheikh Sabah al-Khaled al-Hamad Al Sabah in Doha on Thursday to discuss the ongoing Gulf crisis. The two men discussed the political dispute - along with Kuwait's ongoing efforts to mediate the crisis. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said he has little hope that the months-long Gulf diplomatic crisis will be resolved soon, blaming the Saudi-led group of countries for a lack of progress. Tillerson made the comments on Thursday, a day before he embarks on a trip to the region in a renewed attempt to mediate the dispute.