US to treat PYD as PKK in case of a threat: Former US Ambassador
Cansu Çamlıbel – CAMBRIDGE, MAA former U.S. ambassador to Turkey has made clear the U.S. would treat Syria’s Democratic Union Party (PYD) the same as it does the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in case of a threat to Turkey, while speaking to daily Hürriyet.
Francis Ricciardone, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey and current deputy head of the Atlantic Council, said the PYD has shown its difference by declaring they would not engage in clashes with the Turkish state, highlighting that to preserve such a line was important.
However, Ricciardone vowed the U.S. would respond the same way it does to the PKK in case of a threat from the PYD.
“If the PYD cooperates with the PKK against Turkey and becomes a threat for the country, we would treat them the same way we do to the PKK,” Ricciardone said, vowing that the U.S.’ distinction of the PYD would be lifted in such an occasion.
He also expressed his appreciation for the PKK’s ceasefire declaration.
Earlier this week, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu lashed out at both the United States and Russia for supplying weapons and support to the People’s Protection Units (YPG), the military wing of the PYD, in its bid to fight extremist jihadists, raising concerns that the arms could be used against Turkey by the PKK.
“At the moment, nobody can assure us that these weapons delivered to the PYD will not go to the PKK. If we find out that these weapons are taken into northern Iraq and used there, we will destroy them wherever they are,” Davutoğlu said on Oct. 12.
On Oct. 15, Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu also advised the PYD to watch their step, making clear that any move aimed at Turkey would not remain unreciprocated.