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U.S. risks rupture by supporting Kurdish group

21 Mai 2017

The Kurdish fighters, known as YPG, are considered by Erdogan and his administration to be terrorists, due primarily to the group's refutation of the Turkish president's increasingly authoritarian rule, and the Kurds' own desire to create an autonomous state.

Foreign allies may see things differently.

On BBC radio news on Wednesday, May 10, Egeman Bağiş noted that the us has failed to honor Turkey's repeated requests to extradite Fethullah Gulen and described this failure as evidence that the U.S.is not committed to fighting terrorism as "Gulen is known by everyone in Turkey to have directed the coup attempt" in July 2016. The U.S. military uses the Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for attacks on IS positions in neighboring Syria. Turkey has long regarded the YPG as a terrorist force linked with the Kurdistan Workers' Party, a separatist group that Ankara has clashed with for decades. Nevertheless, the move also illustrates the deep fractures within the United States-led anti-Islamic State (IS) coalition itself. Turkey considers the main component in the Kurdish-led SDF to be an extension of the domestic insurgents it labels as terrorists, and fears their growing influence in northern Syria. Although the Turks tried to keep calm and wait until after the Erdoğan-Trump meeting to respond, it is no secret that this plan remains unacceptable to Turkey.

The French government developed good relations with the PYD and the People's Protection Units (YPG) since the beginning of the fight in Kobani in 2014.

Turkish officials repeatedly spoke of a "new page" in relations after the bickering under Obama but the Trump administration's announcement that the USA would arm the Syrian Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) cast a heavy shadow over such optimism.

The U.S. will begin providing heavy weaponry, including armored vehicles, to the Syrian Kurdish group, YPG. A senior European intelligence official told The Associated Press his country might withhold information from the USA if it confirms Trump shared classified details with Russian Federation.

For President Donald Trump, "taking Raqqa at the earliest possible opportunity" is part of his campaign promise to defeat ISIS quickly. Approving a plan of sending arms to Kurdish rebels fighting ISIS, he aggravated the situation in the Middle East even more.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — The United States is on a collision course with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, pushing ahead with arming Syrian Kurds after deciding the immediate objective of defeating Islamic State militants outweighs the potential damage to a partnership vital to USA interests in the volatile Middle East. The YPG, like the PKK, receive their orders from PKK headquarters in Qandil, Iraq.

The Pentagon did not share details on how it will oversee how the weapons are used, but "even if the USA could control its weapons, it would be hard to convince Turkey and Turks that PKK attacks in Turkey (which I expect to explode in three to six months) are not somehow carried out through US hardware", Burak Kadercan, an assistant professor of strategy and policy at the United States Naval War College, told Syria Deeply. In an interview with the Financial Times last week, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim struck a more conciliatory tone after receiving assurances from U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that the U.S.is committed to protecting Turkey. "And for the SDF (mainly the YPG) to undertake a fight of this difficulty, they need a qualitative step up in how you're arming them", Heller said. The YPG militants, equipped with heavy weapons, will presumably seize new territories and increase their military capabilities.

Erdogan, who is to meet with Trump during a visit Tuesday to Washington, is expected to express his anger at the US president's decision to arm Kurdish fighters in Syria in preparation for an attack on Raqqa, the Syrian city serving as the capital of the Islamic State.

Even so, Turkey is a part of the US -led coalition fighting Islamic State, and USA jets conduct airstrikes against the group from Turkey's Incirlik Air Base.

They were the second group to leave the opposition-held Eastern Ghouta suburb under the deal, the first batch of evacuations from Barzeh having taken place on Monday.

The spat over Syria represents the deepest crisis in bilateral ties since Ankara denied Washington permission to deploy US troops to attack Iraq from Turkish soil in 2003.

U.S. risks rupture by supporting Kurdish group