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Cagdas Erdogan, Associated Press
Mourners chant slogans as they gather around the body of Gulay Ozarlan, a DHKP-C militant, who was killed in a gunfight with police during a major police sweep that was launched against the outlawed group as well as suspected members of the outlawed Kurdish rebel group, the PKK and also Islamic State group militants, during her funeral In Istanbul, Saturday, July 25, 2015.

WASHINGTON — The White House says Turkey has the right to defend itself against terrorist attacks by Kurdish rebels.

Turkey has started striking Islamic State militants, which helps the U.S.-led coalition, but also began attacking Kurds. The U.S. has been relying on heavily with Kurds associated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, to make progress against IS.

White House spokesman Alistair Baskey is strongly condemning recent terrorist attacks by the PKK, which the U.S. has designated a terrorist group. He's pointing out that Turkey is a NATO ally of the U.S.

Baskey says the PKK should renounce terrorism and resume talks with Turkey's government. But he also says that both sides should avoid violence and pursue de-escalation.