Turkey has said it killed around 70 militants in the Iraqi town of Sinjar and in northern Syria, as it stepped up its campaign against groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

While the airstrikes on Syria appeared to hit their intended targets, those in Iraq instead killed at least six members of the Iraqi Kurdish security forces.

This appears to have been an accident, as the Iraqi Kurdish forces are usually an ally of Turkey’s.

The Kurds criticised the raids but blamed them on the PKK, saying: These problems and tensions are all because of the PKK’s presence.

The Iraqi government condemned the strikes as a violation of international law and of Iraqi sovereignty.

Iraqi government spokesman Saad al Hadithi said they considered the raid, which happened on Tuesday, as negatively affecting the efforts of Iraq and the international community in the war against terrorism.

Turkey currently has difficult relations with Baghdad and it has called on Iraq to do more to deal with the PKK, which has bases and fighters in northern Iraq.

The PKK is also seen as a rival of the dominant Kurdish faction in Iraq, which is more popular with Turkey.

Mr Hadithi, however, said: The solution to the problem of the presence on Iraqi territory of PKK members must be co-ordinated with the Iraqi government.

But the Turkish raids show the fine balance between fighting Islamic State and increasing tension between Turkey and its NATO ally the US.

The strikes near the city of Al-Malikiyah in Syria hit YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Units) territory, including a media centre, killing 20 YPG fighters and injuring 18, according to YPG spokesman Redur Khalil.

A YPG commander urged the coalition to act to prevent further Turkish attacks, saying: It’s unthinkable that we are fighting on a front as important as Raqa while Turkish planes bomb us in the back.

Turkey has bombed the YPG in northern Syria for months, calling it a terrorist group because of its ties to the PKK.

The YPG is a major part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the group fighting IS in Syria.

(c) Sky News 2017: Turkey launches airstrikes in Iraq and Syria in anti-PKK campaign