Turkish FM Mevlut Cavusoglu
Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, addressing a gathering of Turkish ambassadors on Monday, called for an end to "US co-operation with the PKK affiliated YPG."
The remark comes 11 days before the inauguration of the new US President Donald Trump, and is the latest in a series of criticisms and appeals to the US administration to stop co-operation with Kurdish forces.
Cavusoglu called support for the People's Protection Units, which is seen as the most successful force fighting the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) group in Syria, a mistake.
"We believe the US will not continue making the same mistakes of the recent past," he said, and added that their expectations for an end to this support carried "vital" importance for bilateral relations.
The US has denied it is supporting the YPG and has said its support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which the YPG is a leading component of is solely limited to defeating the IS group.
Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Binali Yildirim have also made scathing criticisms of the US-led international anti-IS coalition's air support for the SDF. Erdogan has even gone so far as to claim the US created IS. The multi-ethnic SDF recently launched the Wrath of Euphrates Operation to liberated the Islamic State's self-declared capital in Syria, Raqqa.
Turkey has also stepped-up diplomatic efforts to remove Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters from the Sinjar region in the Kurdistan Region in Northern Iraq.
PM Binali Yildirim recently met with KRG officials and Iraqi Prime Minister Heidar al-Abadi and called for the removal of PKK forces from the Yazidis homeland Sinjar. The Iraqi PM stated following the meeting that the region should be under the control of Iraqi forces.
KRG and US officials have also called for PKK withdrawal, however several Yazidi groups have said the PKK's presence in the region is needed until the threat of IS has been defeated completely.
According to reports, the PKK and Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) have agreed on the withdrawal of PKK fighters, however the mechanism for how this will happen has not been decided on. The Yazidi Sinjar Resistance Units (YBS) and Women's Resistance Units (YJS) formed with the support and training of PKK fighters will remain in the region according to the agreement.
Turkey launched the Euphrates Shield Operation with several Islamist factions of the FSA in August to prevent Kurdish forces uniting three cantons in north Syria. Ankara has also threatened a cross border operation into Sinjar if the PKK does not leave the area. Turkish military deployment in Bashiqa, a camp near Mosul, has also created problems between Ankara and Baghdadm with both states reportedly reaching an agreement over Turkish soldiers withdrawal during the recent meeting.
Turkey has been accused of having an anti-Kurdish policy in the region, which has increasingly destabilised the country. Turkish officials have said they are fighting "terror" both home and abroad.
Source: AA, ANF, Kurdishquestion.com
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