Turkey will not allow terror no matter who is behind it: Turkish PM
ISTANBUL – Doğan News Agency
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Jan. 26 once again criticized the U.S. for providing weapons to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), questioning why it, despite having “a huge army,” needed the YPG on the ground in Syria.
“We tell them [the U.S.]: ‘You are our ally, why are you doing this [supporting the YPG]?’ And the answer they give is that it is not a choice but rather a necessity [to fight jihadists in the region]. But then, a big country like the U.S. has a huge army and potential, so is it a country that needs a vile terrorist organization? How will it account for this?” Yıldırım said, speaking at a meeting organized by the Beyoğlu Municipality in Istanbul.
Turkey considers the YPG, the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is also recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union. The U.S. administration started providing weapons to the YPG upon a presidential order signed by President Donald Trump in mid-May 2017 at the expense of angering its close ally, Turkey.
“A country that we consider as our friend and ally has been arming PKK militants [YPG in Syria] there. When we ask them: ‘What are you doing?’ They reply: ‘We are fighting against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] here, and we do not want to put our own soldiers in this war,’” Yıldırım said.
The Turkish premier also recalled an announcement by the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIL that it would establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group largely controlled and manned by the YPG.
“This is clear hostility. Turkey will not allow this no matter who is behind it, regardless of its power and whatever the name it may have,” Yıldırım said.
“No new entity on Turkey’s southern border is acceptable,” he added.