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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

US alliance with Syria Kurds strengthens other terror groups: Turkey

Iran Press TV

Fri Aug 11, 2017 5:13AM

The Turkish foreign minister has warned that the US partnership with Kurdish militants in Syria's northern province of Raqqah will pave the way for "other terror organizations" in the region to strengthen their positions.

"Even if just for tactical reasons, the use of a terrorist organization, the YPG (People's Protection Units) in the Raqqah operation will lead to other terror organizations in the region gaining more ground," Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a Thursday interview with the Turkish daily Turkiye.

"The aim of the YPG is to make its territorial gains lasting through demographic engineering under the cover of the fight against the Daesh," Cavusoglu said.

Ankara views the YPG as a terror organization linked to the homegrown Kurdistan Workers' Party (YPG), which has long been fighting for the establishment of an independent Kurdish state.

Turkey has been on a collision course with the US in Syria, with Ankara sharply criticizing Washington over its support for the YPG forces in the operation in Raqqah, which serves as the main Daesh bastion in the Arab country.

Tensions between the two NATO powers have seen a rise in recent months after US-backed YPG militants made a series of gains against Daesh at the Turkish doorstep, including the capture in May of the Tabqa twon and the nearby dam from the terror group.

Cavusoglu further said Ankara has repeatedly told Washington that "fighting against one terror organization by allying with another terrorist group" is unwise and dangerous, especially for Turkey's security concerns.

"We have conveyed our sensitivities and expectations to the US administration. The US administration has made commitments to us on these. We will continue to monitor the fulfillment of these commitments," Cavusoglu said.

"When the operation is concluded, the control and security of Raqqah should be handed to local Arab groups," he pointed out.

Turkey fears that the YPG will permanently hold parts of land in northern Syria after finishing with Daesh.

In May, US President Donald Trump drew strong condemnation from Ankara by approving the dispatch of weapons to the YPG, which is part of the Washington-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, an alliance of Arab and Kurdish militia.

Washington has promised Ankara that it would take back the weapons and equipment it had supplied to the YPG after curbing Daesh in Raqqah.

Turkey, which has deployed its own military equipment and forces to northern Syria, has warned that US-supplied weapons could fall in the hands of the PKK militants on its soil.

The city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the terrorists' administrative and control tasks the following year.

The SDF offensive is backed by US-led airstrikes, which have claimed hundreds of civilian lives in Raqqah over the past months.

This is while the Syrian army, supported by the Russian air force, is engaged in its own operation against Daesh terrorists in Raqqah City's western countryside side, where it has made several gains against Daesh.

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