Ankara vows to keep up fight against Kurdish militia
ANKARA: Turkey vowed to continue fighting a US-backed Kurdish militia yesterday which it views as a terrorist group after Donald Trump warned of economic devastation if Ankara attacks Kurdish forces as American troops withdraw. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Twitter that there was “no difference” between the Islamic State (IS) extremist group and the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia. “We will continue to fight against them all.” Turkey’s response came after Mr Trump on Sunday warned on Twitter: “Will devastate Turkey economically if they hit Kurds”. “Terrorists can’t be your partners & allies. Turkey expects the US to honour our strategic partnership and doesn’t want it to be shadowed by terrorist propaganda,” Mr Kalin said in a tweet to the US president. Turkey views the YPG as a “terrorist offshoot” of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984. The PKK is blacklisted as a terrorist organisation by Ankara, the United States and the European Union. But Washington has been working closely in recent years with the YPG, providing military support and training, in the fight against the IS in Syria. Mr Kalin said that it was “a fatal mistake to equate Syrian Kurds with the PKK”, saying that Turkey fought against terrorists, not Syrian Kurds. American support to the YPG has been one of the main sources of tension between Turkey and the US. PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED BY PRESSREADER PressReader.com +1 604 278 4604 ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY . ORIGINAL COPY COPYRIGHT AND PROTECTED BY APPLICABLE LAW
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his counterpart US President Donald Trump are pictured speaking to the media.