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Turkey says U.S. envoy McGurk should be fired for backing the Kurds


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Turkey says U.S. envoy McGurk should be fired for backing the Kurds

Post by rocky on Fri 19 May 2017, 3:06 am

Turkey says U.S. envoy McGurk should be fired for backing the Kurds

Posted on May 18, 2017

ISTANBUL,— Turkey’s leader told Donald Trump that his country will keep on fighting Syrian Kurdish militants even though they are a key U.S. ally against the Islamic State group, Turkey’s foreign minister said Thursday, adding that a top U.S. envoy should be fired for backing the Kurds.

Turkey considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG of Syrian Kurdistan, a terror organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against the country.

In April 2017, Turkey has launched airstrikes against the YPG, killing 28 fighters and media activists. The U.S. had criticized the airstrikes against Kurdish militants in Syrian Kurdistan and northern Iraq.

“Our president told his counterpart, clearly and plainly, that we would continue combatting YPG,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told private NTV television Thursday while discussing Tuesday’s meeting between Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Donald Trump.

“They did not say anything negative about this issue and treated it with understanding.”

The minister said Trump’s new U.S. administration seems more understanding about Turkey’s security concerns. He warned that senior U.S. diplomat Brett McGurk, in the anti-IS coalition, should not “poison” the administration by backing Kurdish groups.

“This McGurk is definitely supporting the PKK and YPG. It would be beneficial for this person to change,” he said.

He accused McGurk, the presidential envoy for the global coalition against IS, of carrying on Obama-era policies.

Cavusoglu said Turkey received U.S. assurances that arms sent to the YPG would only be used against IS, without explaining how this would be monitored.

“The weapons provided will only be used in Raqqa and its south, they will absolutely not be used against Turkey, this will not be allowed,” the minister said. “Turkey and the U.S. will together run an active combat against the PKK.”

U.S regards the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party PYD and its powerful military wing YPG, which is part of SDF alliance, as key ally against Islamic State and the most effective fighting force against IS in Syria and has provided them with arms, air support as well as the military advisers. The Kurdish militia has seized swathes of Syria from IS.

Brett McGurk, U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting Islamic State
Brett McGurk, U.S. envoy to the coalition fighting Islamic State. Photo: AFP

On Tuesday U.S. officials, including the Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter the Islamic State Brett McGurk, visited Syrian Kurdistan (Rojava) [Kurdish-controlled areas in northern Syria].

Turkey fears the creation of an autonomous Kurdish region in Syrian Kurdistan that will not be loyal to Ankara would spur the separatist ambitions of Turkey’s own Kurds.

Syrian Kurdistan’s ruling PYD has established three autonomous zones, or Cantons of Jazeera, Kobani and Afrin and a Kurdish government across Syrian Kurdistan in 2013. On March 17, 2016 Syria’s Kurds declared a federal region in Syrian Kurdistan. On Dec. 30, 2016 have approved a blueprint for a system of federal government in Syrian Kurdistan, reaffirming their plans for autonomy in areas they have controlled during the civil war.

    Current date/time is Sat 26 May 2018, 1:12 am