Turkey to cooperate with US in Syria only if it ends support for YPG: Presidential spokesperson

Turkey to cooperate with US in Syria only if it ends support for YPG: Presidential spokesperson

ANKARA
Turkey to cooperate with US in Syria only if it ends support for YPG: Presidential spokesperson

Turkey will cooperate with the U.S. in Syria only if Washington ends its support to the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and takes back the arms it has provided to the group, Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said.

“Then we can talk about the future of Syria with them,” Kalın told private broadcaster CNN Türk on Jan. 23.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is due to have a phone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump late on Jan. 24 upon a request from the U.S. side, he said.

Kalın also denied suggestions that Turkey negotiated a ‘give and take’ deal with Russia, offering control over Idlib province in return for control over Afrin.

“There is no such undercover negotiation,” he said.

Speaking to CNN International on Jan. 24, Kalın had also noted that the YPG had carried out “nearly 700 attacks on Turkish territory” from the Afrin region since last year.

He stressed that Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” does not target Syrian Kurds, but a “terror network that claims to be representing Kurds.”

“There are many Kurds that do not accept the Marxist-Leninist ideology of the PKK-PYD. Here we see one of the biggest ironies. The U.S. has determined a Marxist-Leninist group as its ally in Syria,” Kalın said.

The presidential spokesman also recalled that Washington promised to Ankara last year that it would end military support to the YPG after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) is defeated, questioning why the U.S. is still supporting the group despite the defeat of ISIL in Syria.

“How do you know they will not use these weapons against us, or Arabs, or Turkmens, or other Syrians,” he said.

Syria, Afrin, YPG, PYD, PKK, İbrahim Kalın, Christiane Amanpour, CNN International, ISIL