Erdoğan expresses 'disturbance' over YPG support in meeting with US Defense Secretary Mattis
ANKARAPresident Recep Tayyip Erdoğan expressed Ankara’s disturbance over Washington's support to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) during his on Aug. 23 meeting with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, according to presidential sources.
The president and the defense secretary also emphasized the importance of maintaining the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria, sources said.
Turkey considers the YPG, the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), to be an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is also recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union.
Before coming to Turkey, Mattis held talks in Baghdad on Aug. 22 to show U.S. support for Iraqi forces as they pressed an assault on Tal Afar, ISIL’s last major bastion in the country’s north.
Mattis said he wanted to keep the spotlight on eradicating ISIL, in remarks before going into meetings with al-Abadi and other top officials.
“Right now our focus is on defeating ISIS inside Iraq, restoring Iraqi sovereignty and territorial integrity,” the US defense secretary said, using an alternative acronym for ISIL.