Envoy reiterates US does not consider PYD a terror group
ADANA – Doğan News Agency
AA photoThe United States envoy to Turkey has reiterated previous remarks by U.S. officials that Washington does not regard the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as a terror organization, contrary to Turkey’s stance.
“Just like [officials] in Washington have said previously, the U.S. does not regard the PYD a terrorist organization,” U.S. Ambassador to Ankara John Bass said on June 23 at a reception in the southern province of Adana.
“[The U.S.] acknowledges the PKK [Kurdistan Workers’ Party] as a terrorist organization and condemns the PKK attacks but in spite of that we understand Turkey’s sensitivities and its sensitivities about groups that support the PKK,” Bass added.
Turkey regards the PYD and its military wing, the People’s Protection Unit (YPG), as terrorist groups on the grounds that they are offshoots of the outlawed PKK, with which Turkish security forces have been in clashes since mid-1980s.
The U.S., on the other hand, regards the PYD and the YPG as “reliable” partners in its fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
The PKK is designated as a terror organization by Turkey, the U.S. as well as the European Union.
The U.S. leads a coalition of 66 nations formed to combat ISIL in Syria and Iraq. One of the main bases of the anti-ISIL operations are managed from the İncirlik Air Base, which is located in Turkey’s Adana.
Apart from U.S. aircraft on the base, jets from Germany, the U.K., Qatar and Saudi Arabia are also stationed at İncirlik in order to take part in operations against ISIL.
“As coalition nations we continue our fight against Daesh from various places, including the İncirlik Air Base. Our aim is to downgrade and defeat Daesh as soon as possible,” said Bass, adding that the jihadist organization had lost around 50 percent of its territory in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria due to the fight.
Daesh is an Arabic acronym for ISIL.
“We have much to do [to defeat ISIL]. We will support groups that fight Daesh. And we will continue to closely work with the Turkish government,” he added.