PM: Turkey not to allow terror no matter who is behind it
Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Jan. 26 criticized the U.S. for its providing weapons to the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), questioning why it, despite having “a huge army,” needed the YPG militia on the ground in Syria.
“We tell them [the U.S.] ‘You are our ally, why are you doing this [supporting the YPG]’?...And the answer they give is that this does not stem from a choice but rather a necessity [to fight jihadists in the region]..But then, a big country like the U.S. has a huge army and potential, so is it a country that is need of a vile terrorist organization? How will it give an account for this?” Yıldırım said, while speaking at a meeting organized by Beyoglu Municipality in Istanbul.
Turkey considers the YPG, the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is also recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S. and the European Union. The U.S. administration started to provide weapons to the YPG upon a presidential order signed by Donald Trump in mid-May at the expense of angering its closest ally, Turkey.
“A country that we know as our being friend and ally has been arming the PKK militants [referring to the YPG in Syria] there. When we tell them [the U.S.] ‘What are you doing, what is this that you are doing?’ what they tell is this: ‘We are fighting against the ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] here, and we do not want to give this fight with our own soldiers’” Yıldırım said.
The Turkish premier also recalled the announcement by the U.S.-led international coalition against ISIL of establishing a 30,000-strong new border security force with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) -- a group largely controlled and manned by the YPG militia.
“This is clear hostility. Turkey will not allow this no matter who is behind it, regardless of its power and whatever the name it may have,” Yıldırım said. “No new entity on Turkey's southern border is acceptable.”