Turkey indirectly urges US to stop delivering arms to PYD

Turkey indirectly urges US to stop delivering arms to PYD

Turkey indirectly urges US to stop delivering arms to PYD

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Turkey’s top security board has indirectly urged the United States that “supplying weapons to terror organizations” would only “help terror gain strength and spread it,” in an apparent reference to Washington’s policy of allying with the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). 

“Recognizing terror organizations as interlocutors and delivering arms to them through various ways will help terror gain strength and spread it,” read a statement issued following the bi-monthly National Security Council  (MGK) meeting late on Feb. 31. The meeting was held under the leadership of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and top civil and military officials. 

The urging came on the day that the PYD said it had been supplied with armored military vehicles by the U.S. as part of their joint preparations for the upcoming Raqqa offensive against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Pentagon confirmed the delivery but said it was carried out under instructions issued by the previous administration. 

The MGK statement said it had evaluated the recent developments in Syria and Iraq, particularly the security problems stemming from the two countries that Turkey has long been subjected to. 

“Protection and reinforcing the ceasefire in Syria as well as the Astana talks were discussed in detail, while it has been confirmed that Turkey’s efforts to launch a political transition period [in Syria] and fulfill its humane responsibilities will continue,” it added.  

The meeting was the first MGK in 2017 and it reiterated Turkey’s commitment to defeating all terror organizations, adding that this struggle should be “explained to the international community in a more efficient way.”

The MGK also reviewed the ongoing Cyprus talks in the light of steps to be taken to protect the rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriots, while stressing the Turkish government’s support for the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar.