October 28, 2016

Turkey foreign minister: US making conflicting statements over Syrian Kurdish YPG

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Cavusoglu gestures during a news briefing in Tbilisi

Turkey’s foreign minister accused the United States on Friday of making conflicting statements about the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, and said the use of such groups in the fight against Islamic State was a sign of weakness.

Cavusoglu, who was speaking in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi while on an official visit and whose comments were carried live on Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber, said Washington should break ties with Kurdish insurgents.

“Resorting to terrorist groups like the YPG in the fight against Deash in Syria is above all a sign of weakness,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamist group. “Everyone must stop this mistake. In particular our ally the United States must stop this mistake immediately.”

Turkey has said the YPG, working with members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), was behind a car bombing in Ankara this week that killed 28 people. The United States has said it is not in a position to confirm or deny Turkey’s charge.

The YPG’s political wing has denied responsibility.

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