Middle East US, Russia competing over Kurdish YPG: Turkey FM

US, Russia competing over Kurdish YPG: Turkey FM
YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) commanders attend a news conference in Ain Issa, Raqqa Governorate, Syria, Nov. 6, 2016. (Photo: Reuters)

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region (Kurdistan24) – The United States and Russia are competing over the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria said Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Sunday.

Cavusoglu’s remarks regarding American and Russian relations with the YPG appeared a rebuke to both countries for their help of the Kurdish faction which Turkey views a “terrorist” group.

“Competing [for] a terror organization is unacceptable. This is incompetence,” declared Cavusoglu in the Mediterranean city of Antalya, reported the privately-owned Dogan News Agency.

The emergence of Kurdish fighters as capable and trusted allies for the US in the war against the Islamic State (IS) since late 2014 has greatly frustrated Turkish leaders.

Turkish officials repeatedly insist the YPG is the Syrian extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

US diplomats and generals have, much to the protests of Turks, consistently rejected the notion the YPG is an offshoot of the PKK that both NATO allies designate as “terrorist.”

Moreover, repeated Turkish calls to equate YPG with IS have fallen on deaf ears in Moscow and Washington.

Apart from the intent to destroy IS, the only other topic in which both Russia and the US policies so far align is their respective backing of the Kurds.

Russian ties with the YPG are not as well built like those of the US.

However, a growing alliance between the Syrian regime’s main backer and the Kurdish group in northwestern Syria further limits options for Turkey which has vowed to fight the Kurds.

Unlike the US, and Turkey’s other allies such as the European Union (EU), Russia does not have the PKK on its list of terrorist groups.


Editing by Karzan Sulaivany