Friday, August 18, 2017
facebook

google plus
World

Posted at: May 18, 2017, 1:11 PM; last updated: May 18, 2017, 1:11 PM (IST)

Erdogan says Turkey will act if Syrian Kurdish militia attacks: Media

Erdogan says Turkey will act if Syrian Kurdish militia attacks: Media
US President Donald Trump with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan. AFP/file
Istanbul, May 18

President Tayyip Erdogan told US President Donald Trump during his visit to Washington this week that Turkey would act “without asking anyone” if it faced any sort of attack from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, Turkish media reported on Thursday.

Trump’s approval, before the visit, of plans to arm the YPG as it advances towards Islamic State’s Raqqa stronghold had overshadowed talks between the NATO allies, but Erdogan did not directly criticise the plan at the White House.

Later, speaking to reporters at the Turkish embassy, Erdogan underlined Turkey’s concerns about the YPG, which Ankara regards as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) militant group fighting a decades-old insurgency in southeast Turkey.

“We clearly told them this: if there is any sort of attack from the YPG and PYD against Turkey, we will implement the rules of engagement without asking anyone,” the Sabah newspaper citing him as saying. The PYD is the YPG’s political arm.

Erdogan said that the United States had made its decision on the subject of the Raqqa operation and that Turkey could not participate, given the YPG involvement.

“We told them ... we do not regard your cooperation with a terrorist group in Raqqa as healthy,” Erdogan was cited as saying, but he said he expected a role for Turkey in Syria.

“I believe they will knock on our door on the subject of Syria,” he said.

The United States sees the YPG as distinct from the PKK and as a valuable partner in the fight against Islamic State.

Turkey, the United States and European Union consider the PKK a terrorist organisation. Reuters

COMMENTS

All readers are invited to post comments responsibly. Any messages with foul language or inciting hatred will be deleted. Comments with all capital letters will also be deleted. Readers are encouraged to flag the comments they feel are inappropriate.
The views expressed in the Comments section are of the individuals writing the post. The Tribune does not endorse or support the views in these posts in any manner.
Share On