Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan minced no words as he called Washington’s plan to establish and train a 30,000-man Kurdish security force in Syria along the Turkish border a “terror army.” The area in question runs along the southern border of Turkey with Syria.
The U.S. plans to heavily recruit its force from the SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces) of which a large part of them are from the People’s Protection Units (YPG). That organization (YPG) considered by Turkey to be a “terrorist group” with ties to the banned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). That has Erdogan infuriated.
“What we are supposed to do is to drown this terror army before in comes into being,” he said in an address in the capital, Ankara, on Monday, calling the Kurdish fighters “back-stabbers” who will point their weapons to the US in the future.
His comments came after reports revealed Washington’s plan to establish a 30,000-strong new border security force with the involvement of Kurdish fighters in northern Syria.
Erdogan said that Turkey’s armed forces had completed preparations for an operation against the Kurdish-controlled region of Afrin in northwest Syria and the town of Manbij.
Warning Turkey’s allies against helping “terrorists” in Syria, he said: “We won’t be responsible for consequences”.
In a statement late on Sunday, the Turkish foreign ministry had called “wrong and objectionable” any cooperation with the YPG.
“The establishment of the so-called Syria Border Protection Force was not consulted with Turkey, which is a member of the coalition,” it said.
“To attribute such a unilateral step to the whole coalition is an extremely wrong move that could harm the fight against Daesh,” the ministry added, using an alternative acronym for ISIL.
This has caused extreme high tension between the US and Turkey, who prior to this were considered staunch allies. President Trump said in November that Washington would no longer supply weapons to the YPG. This news has to be disconcerting to Ankara.
Meanwhile, Syrian Kurdish officials said on Sunday that fighting between the YPG and Turkish forces was already underway.
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