Turkey demands U.S. stop supporting Syrian Kurdish militants

Turkey last week bombed targets of the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, earning the wrath of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington, that said that the Combined Air Operations Centre received less than one-hour notice of the strikes. He said USA forces will also deploy as a separation force in areas where the Turkish-backed Syrian fighting forces and the Kurdish forces meet.

While we are fighting and dying side by side with the USA military in the campaign against the Islamic State, Erdogan is turning a blind eye to terrorism and supporting groups that overtly espouse jihadist ideals.

"We will be forced to continue (our offensives)", Erdogan said.

"Unfortunately ... the presence of an American flag along with the [insignia] of a terror organization called YPG in a convoy has seriously saddened us", Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul.

The US backed the formation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), dominated by the YPG but also including Arab fighters, yet Ankara contends it is merely a front from the Kurdish group.

The US has provided air cover and other support to Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq.

'We won't provide a date and time for when we'll come.

Since Trump's election, Turkey had indicated it wanted a "change in USA policy on the YPG support".

Forty terrorists were killed at Iraq's Mt. Sinjar, and another 49 at Syria's Mt. Karacok in April 25 airstrikes by Turkish forces against the PKK and the PYD and YPG.

Turkey has stepped up its attacks against PKK positions in northern Iraq and YPG outposts in Syria over the past few weeks.

"We and our Russian and Iranian allies are trying to persuade OPCW to send a team to investigate what happened, because if it doesn't, the United States might repeat the same charade by fabricating the use of false chemical weapons in another place in Syria in order to justify military intervention", he said. However, the USA has called the PYD a key ally in the fight against ISIL in Syria.

Ankara is hopeful about the future of the relationship with Washington under Mr Trump after ties frayed in the final years of the Obama administration. "You can not play with this nation", Erdogan said.

"This needs to be stopped right now", said Erdogan.

But it has complicated relations with Turkey, which views the group's Kurdish component as an extension of a terror group operating inside its own borders.

Although the USA commanders claim they are only monitoring the situation, the local Kurds say the deployment is an attempt to create a buffer zone to limit fighting between the two sides. The Syrian Kurdish militia is Washington's main ally in combating Islamic State militants in Syria. (That's according to USA officials, by the way.) Yet Turkey does nothing. This is very problematic for the Pentagon since it has U.S. special forces embedded with the YPG both in operations against the IS and in training missions.

The infighting pits the Army of Islam against the al-Rahman Corps and al-Qaida-linked group the Levant Liberation Committee, or Hayat Tahrir al-Sham.

  • Leroy Wright