Turkey Has Levers to Push US to Recognize Kurdish PYD as Terrorist Group
Seref Malkoc, an adviser to Turkey's president said that if the Unites States is really Turkey's friend and ally, then they should recognize the PYD, a Syrian branch of the PKK, as a terrorist organization.
ANKARA (Sputnik) – Ankara could take certain measures against Washington, including changing the terms of United States' use of the Turkish Incirlik Airbase, if it fails to declare Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) to be a terrorist organization, an adviser to Turkey's president said Friday.
On February 9, the Turkish Foreign Ministry summoned US Ambassador John Bass to register its dissatisfaction with the US refusal to add the PYD to its list of terrorist organizations. Ankara claims that Syrian Kurds have links to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is fighting for Kurdish independence from Turkey and is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara. At the same time the PKK denies having any ties to the PYD.
'If the Unites States is really Turkey's friend and ally, then they should recognize the PYD – a Syrian branch of the PKK – as a terrorist organization. If a friend acts as an enemy, then measures should be taken, and they will not be limited to the Incirlik Airbase, Turkey has significant capabilities,' Seref Malkoc was quoted as saying by the Turkish Bugun newspaper.
Over the past month, Turkish forces have repeatedly attacked Kurdish positions in Syria, claiming that they threaten Turkish security. Both Moscow and Washington has called on Ankara to cease its artillery strikes.
The United States uses the Turkish Incirlik airbase to conduct manned and unmanned air strikes on Islamic State (ISIL or Daesh) militant group positions in Syria. Daesh is outlawed in many countries, including the United States and Russia. Moscow is conducting a separate aerial campaign against terrorists in Syria at Damascus' request.
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