US understands Turkey’s concerns about PKK: Spokesperson
The United States understands Turkey’s concerns regarding the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and the region and takes them seriously, the U.S. State Department spokesperson has said.
“Turkey is an important and valued NATO ally. The United States takes Turkey’s concerns seriously; we have a lot of ongoing conversations with the government of Mr. Erdoğan. They have legitimate concerns with the PKK. We understand that,” Heather Nauert said at a press briefing in Washington on Aug. 10.
“They are concerns about the region overall, and we condemn ongoing attacks committed by the UKK. We – excuse me, the PKK – and we consider that to be a terror organization,” she said.
When asked about a possible Turkish military move on Syria, Nauert called it “hypothetical.”
Ankara has repeatedly expressed its concern on the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units’ (YPG) role in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria, especially after Washington started shipping weapons to the group, which Turkey sees as organically linked to the PKK.
Last week, Turkey deployed military reinforcements to its southern border with Syria, dispatching artillery and tanks to the border province of Kilis overnight.
President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had also noted that Ankara told the U.S. that it would not ask anyone before responding to an attack or a provocation from the YPG against Turkey.
The PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.