Skip to comments.Turkey sees U.S. backing Syrian Kurdish YPG as support for PKK - spokesman
Posted on 11/08/2018 12:50:55 PM PST by Texas Fossil
Turkey does not differentiate between what it sees as terrorist organisations and any support for Syrian Kurdish forces means supporting the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), state-run Anadolu news agency quoted presidential spokesman İbrahim Kalın as saying on Wednesday in reference to U.S. backing for Kurdish fighters in Syria battling Islamic State.
Turkey sees the Peoples Protection Units (YPG) and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), that control most of northeast Syria as part of the PKK that has been fighting for self-rule inside Turkey for more than 30 years. The YPG denies being part of the PKK, but both groups share the same democratic confederalist ideology and are part of the same umbrella organisation.
While the United States recognises the PKK as a terrorist organisation, U.S. troops have armed and trained YPG fighters who make up the bulk of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that has pushed Islamic State (ISIS) out of most of northern Syria.
Our position against the PKK is clear. Contrary to the PKK, we do not define the YPG as a terrorist organisation. We have never done that, Washington's Syria envoy James Jeffrey said.
Turkey last week announced that it would launch a large-scale operation against the YPG east of River Euphrates in Syria and began shelling YPG positions. As a result of the Turkish shelling, the SDF called a temporary halt to its offensive against the remnants of ISIS in Syria. Jeffrey said on Wednesday that eliminating ISIS in Syria was Washingtons top priority.
Unilateral military strikes into northwest Syria by any party, particularly as American personnel may be present or in the vicinity, are of great concern to us, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said last week in response to the Turkish shelling of Kurdish-controlled areas.
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But in fact they have employed/supported ISIS, al Qaeda (Nusra), al Sham, and Uygur Terrorists. And they are now the home of the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorists.
Turkey considers YPG/YPJ (Syrian Kurd) element of the SDF as extensions of the PKK. The US never had designated the YPG/YPJ as terrorists.
We can, and should, halt all Foreign Military Sales (FMS) and suspend execution of existing contracts should Turkey threaten to shell in the vicinity of our troops. All spare parts, technical support and weapons shipments should cease. All Turkish military personnel training or studying in the U.S. should stop and they should be sent packing. Decrease their IMET funding to zero.
We have sanctions against them. Some were recently reduced after Pastor Brunson was released.
I think the reality of this conflict is well understood via our military staff. President Trump has listened more to them than to the State Department. Results have been better in my opinion.
Since Pompeo took over at the State Department I think things there have improved.
Academics (History and other) simply do not get the reality of this. It is too dynamic. The only type of reporting that works for this is on the ground in the region. There are a few brave reporters doing that. I see lots of video footage, some of it is amazing. Many of the clips are on Twitter.
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