Ankara (Turkey) (AFP) - Turkey on Tuesday repeated its demand that the Kurdish-backed Syrian fighters it has targeted in a cross-border offensive return east of the Euphrates, neither confirming or denying reports of a US-brokered truce.
The US defence official told AFP in Washington that Turkish and US-backed Kurdish forces in northern Syria had reached a "loose agreement" to stop fighting each other -- a claim confirmed by a spokesman for the pro-Kurdish forces.
Turkey did not confirm it had agreed to hold fire, saying only that it would hold the US to a commitment that the Kurdish PYD party and its YPG militia would retreat eastwards.
YPG-led forces moved west from the main Kurdish-controlled region in the northeast to fight Islamic State for the city of Manbij.
"Our ally, the US, promised before the operation to rid Manbij of Daesh (IS) that PYD/YPG elements would not remain west of the Euphrates and we await the fulfilment of this commitment as soon as possible," the ministry said in a statement.
The US says the YPG has "largely" upheld its promise and criticised the clashes with the Kurdish-backed forces as "unacceptable."
US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter appealed to both sides to fight Islamic State, not each other.
Turkey hit back at the criticism from its NATO ally of its week-old operation, which is at both the jihadists and the YPG.
"What US officials say about the scope and objectives of Operation Euphrates Shield is unacceptable," the ministry said.
Turkey sees the YPG as a "terrorist" offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a deadly insurgency on Turkish territory for over three decades.
The foreign ministry insisted the Syrian operation would continue until "the scourge of terrorism" was eliminated.
On Monday, Turkey shelled 21 "terrorist" targets near the border town of Jarabulus, which Turkish-backed rebels took from IS on the first day of the offensive.
But it appeared to have eased fire Tuesday.
NTV television said three soldiers were injured when a tank was hit by a rocket near Jarabulus, without saying which group was suspected of the attack.