ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) “pressed” the US-led coalition to stop supporting the Turkish army in its 2016-launched incursion into northern Syria, according to Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.
Cavusoglu was speaking to reporters on Tuesday about his country’s policy in the civil war-ridden Syria where a costly Turkish invasion to drive off the Islamic State (IS) in a pocket in the north ended with no more expansion in February.
“Because the YPG created pressure, the coalition did not want to support us,” said Cavusoglu regarding a cessation of mainly US backing in November 2016, reported the privately-owned Dogan news agency.
US airstrikes in support of Turks ceased for months when the Turkish army launched attacks on the Kurdish forces which has over the years become the main American ally in the war on IS.
However, he mentioned Russian air cover in the town of al-Bab which Turkey and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) units it supports captured in late February.
Turkey labels the YPG a “terror” group for having ties with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Cavusoglu called the Kurdish-held region in Syria a “terror corridor” and said the Turkish operation dubbed Operation Euphrates Shield ended “their dream” of making it contiguous by linking the Kobani and Afrin cantons.
The Turkish Minister also resented the fact former US President Barack Obama’s administration chose to partner with the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in an ongoing assault to capture the de facto IS capital of Raqqa.
“[The] Obama administration did not want us to launch the Raqqa operation,” Cavusoglu noted.
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany