Turkey says US information on arms support to YPG ‘contradicting’
Sevil Erkuş - ANKARA
The Turkish government is dissatisfied with the information provided by the United States with regards to the content, purpose, deadline and transparency of arms support provided by the Pentagon to the Syrian Kurds, according to assessments made in Ankara.
Turkey is not convinced on explanations made by Washington on the four aspects of its military support to the YPG, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan wants to hold another phone conversation soon with his American counterpart Donald Trump, according to sources.
“If the U.S. argues that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] is declining, and the threat is minimized, we tell them that the Pentagon continuing cooperation with the YPG is a mistake. We tell them continuing ammunition support to the YPG is also a mistake. This cooperation should not continue for one more day,” a Foreign Ministry official has said on condition of anonymity.
Ankara is not satisfied with the U.S. explanation that the cooperation with the YPG is “temporary,” the official noted.
Washington regularly provides information about the arms delivered to the YPG on the ground, “But this information is not within the framework that we desired. We tell them that this sharing should be more detailed and clear,” said the official.
“It’s not merely about transparency. The problem is that those arms turn out to be a threat against us,” the official added.
The U.S. argues that not all arms transported to Syria are delivered to YPG fighters, saying that the main part of the deliveries are for the use of U.S. soldiers on the ground, the official said, but added that this explanation contradicts the figures of the total number of U.S. soldiers in Syria.
The official said that the Pentagon confirms only 500 U.S. troops are in the war-torn country.
Turkey, Iran and Russia are still discussing those set to participate in a national dialogue congress seeking to settle a solution to the Syrian war, with Ankara urging the representation of “legitimate” Syrian Kurdish groups or persons at the gathering.
“Syrian Kurds should have a role in all sort of political initiatives for peace in Syria,” the official said, but adding that this representation should exclude the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
The official pointed that there were Syrian Kurdish parties, groups and individuals that were not affiliated to the YPG and the PYD which are already participating in ongoing peace negotiations, with some of them even having representative offices in Turkey.