Erdogan spokesperson slams US military for backing Syrian Kurdish militia

US support for the YPG has been a major sticking point between Washington and Turkey

Reuters January 12, 2017
Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan addresses district governors at the Presidential Palace in Ankara, Turkey, January 10, 2017. Yasin Bulbul/Presidential Palace.PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA: Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesperson lashed out at the US military on Thursday after it re-tweeted a statement by a Kurdish-dominated alliance it backs in Syria saying it had no links to Kurdish militants fighting the Turkish state.

The Syrian Democratic Forces, the main US partner on the ground in Syria in the fight against Islamic State, includes the powerful Kurdish YPG militia.

Turkey paying price for US alliance with Syrian Kurdish militia says Defence Minister

Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the PKK militant group, which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey and is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.

Erdogan's spokesperson, Ibrahim Kalin, replied to the tweet.

"Do you believe anyone will buy this? The U.S. must stop trying to legitimize a terrorist group."

US support for the YPG has been a major sticking point between Washington and Turkey, a NATO ally and a member of the US-led coalition against Islamic State.

Kurdish militants claim responsibility for Izmir attack that killed two

Turkey is hoping that the incoming US administration under President-elect Donald Trump will re-think its policy in Syria and stop providing support to militants.


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