Turkey slams US ‘hypocrisy’ for backing Kur­dish mili­tia in Syria

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL -

ANTALYA—Turkey on Friday ac­cused the United States of hypocrisy af­ter US com­man­dos in Syria were pic­tured sup­port­ing a ma­jor ground of­fen­sive led by a Kur­dish mili­tia branded a ter­ror group by Ankara.

For­eign Min­is­ter Mev­lut Cavu­soglu said it was “un­ac­cept­able” that US troops had been seen in images taken by an AFP pho­tog­ra­pher wear­ing in­signia of the Kur­dish Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG).

Ankara re­gards the YPG as a ter­ror group, ac­cus­ing it of car­ry­ing out at­tacks inside Turkey and be­ing the Syr­ian branch of the Kur­dis­tan Work­ers’ Party (PKK) which has fought an in­sur­gency against the Turk­ish state for more than three decades.

How­ever, Washington sees the YPG as one of the most ef­fec­tive fight­ing forces against Is­lamic State (IS) ji­hadists inside Syria.

The is­sue has caused ten­sions be­tween the two NATO allies for months.

“We ad­vise them (US troops) to wear badges of Daesh (IS) or (Al-Qaeda af­fil­i­ate) Al-Nusra when they go to other parts of Syria and badges of Boko Haram when they go to Africa,” Cavu­soglu said with an­gry sar­casm.

“If they don’t see th­ese (groups) as the same as the YPG, then this is dou­ble stan­dards, hypocrisy,” he said at a news con­fer­ence at a meet­ing on Least De­vel­oped Coun­tries in the south­ern re­sort of Antalya.

The AFP pho­tog­ra­pher saw US forces on the ground in north­ern Syria help­ing the Kur­dish-Arab Syr­ian Demo­cratic Forces (SDF) in a ma­jor of­fen­sive against IS in its strong­hold of Raqa prov­ince.

Sev­eral US com­man­dos were also pho­to­tral graphed wear­ing the mil­i­tary in­signia of the YPG, which make up the bulk of the SDF.

“It is un­ac­cept­able for the soldiers of the United States — our ally which is very as­sertive in the fight against ter­ror — to use or wear the badges of a ter­ror or­gan­i­sa­tion,” Cavu­soglu said.

The min­is­ter de­cried what he said was the ap­proach of “a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion I can use and a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion I can­not.”

“You wear the in­signia of a ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion on your shoul­der, put up its flag in your cap­i­tal. Of course we will not suc­ceed in the fight against ter­ror­ism through this un­der­stand­ing as it is to­day,” he said.

The United States, like the Euro­pean Union, clas­si­fies the PKK as a ter­ror group. But it had so far re­sisted in­ten­sive lob­by­ing from Turkey to also out­law the YPG and stop work­ing with the group in Syria.

Cavu­soglu in­sisted that in pri­vate talks with Pres­i­dent Barack Obama and Sec­re­tary of State John Kerry the United States had said the YPG “are not re­li­able” and vowed Washington would “stand by Turkey in the fight against ter­ror­ism.”

“And then they wear the badges of the ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion re­spon­si­ble for the last two at­tacks in Ankara,” he com­plained.

Turkey blamed the YPG for at­tacks in the cap­i­tal this year that killed dozens, even though they were claimed by a PKK splin­ter group the Kur­dis­tan Free­dom Fal­cons (TAK).

Ankara has re­peat­edly said it makes no dis­tinc­tion be­tween “ter­ror” or­gan­i­sa­tions, be it IS, the PKK or the YPG. “It is un­ac­cept­able to make dis­tinc­tions be­tween ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions. We are against all ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tions,” he said.—AFP po­si­tion had not with­drawn Prime Min­is­ter Nawaz Shar­ifs name from the ToRs. We have in­cluded the names of Maryam Nawaz and Hus­sain Nawaz in our ToRs.

Speak­ing to the me­dia Pak­istan Tehreek-e-In­saf leader Shah Mehmood Qureshi said that to­day the talks did not move for­ward even an inch.

The gov­ern­ment re­jected our 15 points. If they re­ject our pro­posal we will con­sider the four-point pre­am­ble null and void too.

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