Turkey to be upset if US arms the YPG: Turkish PM

Turkey to be upset if US arms the YPG: Turkish PM

Turkey to be upset if US arms the YPG: Turkish PM

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Turkey would consider the United States’ supply of weapons and ammunition to the Syrian Kurds as a regrettable development, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım said Sept. 22 in comments regarding a New York Times report.

Ankara and Washington are not on the same page regarding the status of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing, the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), he said after a meeting following an economy meeting at the Justice and Development Party (AKP) headquarters.

“Either the PYD or YPG, we identify them as the offshoot of the PKK. They have nothing to do with our Kurdish brothers. Our Kurdish brothers are living in Syria. We have [Kurdish-origin] citizens in Turkey, too, and there are Kurds in Iraq. Our country and nation has no problem with them,” he said.

“However, one should not fight against a terrorist organization using another terrorist organization,” he said, stressing that such an approach would bring trouble.

Turkish officials openly told their American counterparts about Turkey’s views, but Ankara would be upset if the U.S. takes a decision to supply arms to the YPG, Yıldırım said.

Such an approach would not resolve the Syrian problem, but make it more complicated, the prime minister said.

The New York Times said the U.S. was mulling whether to provide weapons to the Syrian Kurds in the fight against ISIL.

The plan is under discussion at the National Security Council staff at a moment when U.S. President Barack Obama has directed aides to examine all proposals that could accelerate the fight against ISIL, according to the report. Obama has told aides that he wants an offensive aimed at removing ISIL from Raqqa, the group’s de facto capital in northern Syria, to be well underway before he leaves office in January 2017, the New York Times reported.