Ankara vows to keep up fight against Kur­dish mili­tia

Bangkok Post - - NATIONAL -

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

AFP

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­do­gan and his coun­ter­part US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump are pic­tured speak­ing to the me­dia.

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