Turkey hopes the United States will end its policy of supporting the Syrian Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG), Deputy Prime Minister Nurettin Canikli said May 10, adding that Ankara
could not accept its NATO
ally supporting the group.
“We cannot accept the presence of terrorist organizations that would threaten the future of the Turkish state. We hope the U.S. administration will put a stop to this wrong and turn back from it. Such a policy will not be beneficial, you can’t be in the same sack as terrorist organizations,” Canikli said in an interview with private broadcaster A Haber.
U.S. President Donald Trump on May 9 authorized arming the YPG in Syria “as necessary to ensure a clear victory” in a planned assault to retake the city of Raqqa from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Pentagon said May 9, in a likely blow to U.S. ties with Turkey.
“Yesterday, the president authorized the Department of Defense to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF] as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIL in Raqqa, Syria,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White, who is traveling with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis in Lithuania, said in a statement, adding that Washington was keenly aware of the security concerns of coalition partner Turkey.
“We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S. is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO
ally,” White said.
Ankara considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the YPG, as “terrorist” groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party
(PKK), and has long pressed Washington to stop its alliance with the group in the fight against ISIL.