TEHRAN, May 10, YJC - Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has expressed great resentment over the US administration’s decision to arm Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters battling Takfiri Daesh terrorists in Syria, stressing that every weapon obtained by the forces constitutes a threat to Turkey.
TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) -
Speaking to reporters while on a visit to Montenegro on Wednesday, Cavusoglu stated that Washington knows Ankara’s position on the YPG very well and should not take wrong steps in Syria.
The top Turkish diplomat added that the United States should distinguish between the YPG and their Arab allies in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and that the Arabs should be the ones to enter the northeastern Syrian city of Raqqah, which has been the de facto capital of Daesh in Syria since 2014.
Ankara views YPG as the Syrian branch of the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.
Turkey has stepped up its attacks against PKK positions in northern Iraq and YPG outposts in Syria over the past few weeks.
Cavusoglu’s remarks cazme a day after Dana White, the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman, said in a written statement that US President Donald Trump had authorized arms shipments to YPG fighters.
She noted that the US-backed Kurdish militiamen are "the only force on the ground that can successfully seize Raqqah in the near future.”
The Pentagon statement was released before a scheduled meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Trump in Washington next week.
The US administration is set to use YPG forces in a planned US-led offensive to seize Raqqah. Erdogan has made it clear that he expects a turnaround from Washington on such a move.
Meanwhile, Syrian Kurdish forces have welcomed the "historic” US decision to supply weapons and military equipment to them, stating that the move would speed up Daesh’s defeat.
"From now on, after this historic arming decision, our units will play a more influential, powerful, and decisive role in fighting terrorism at a faster pace,” YPG spokesman Redur Xelil said in a statement.
He said the decision had come "somewhat late, but would still provide a strong impetus” to all forces fighting against Daesh extremists.
SDF spokesman Talal Sello also said the US decision "to arm the YPG... is important and will hasten the defeat of terrorism."