Turkey warns allies against training YPG militants
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Turkey’s European Union Affairs Minister Ömer Çelik on April 5 warned the country’s allies to not train Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants.
“We do not want to see any of our allies’ soldiers training YPG terrorists,” Ömer Çelik told reporters after his meeting in Paris with his French counterpart Nathalie Loiseau and Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
Ankara says the YPG is the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been at war with Turkey for more than three decades.
“France is our ally but we do not want to hear words like ‘Afrin is being occupied,’” Çelik said, referring to Turkey’s ongoing operation in Syria’s Afrin district, which recently received criticisms from some European countries.
Le Drian last month claimed that the Afrin operation is a “deep incursion” which is “not justified.”
Turkey on Jan. 20 launched “Operation Olive Branch” to remove YPG militants from Afrin. On March 18, the Turkish army said it declared full control over the city.
Last week, Turkish authorities firmly rejected French President Emmanuel Macron’s offer to mediate between the Turkish government and the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), regarded by Turkey as simply a differently named version of the YPG.