Backed Syrian militias say capture Tabqa from Islamic State

Kristopher Drake
May 12, 2017

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he hopes the United States will reverse its decision to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters perceived as terrorists by Ankara.

"The fight against the terrorist organization Daesh [the Arabic acronym for Islamic State] should not be carried out with another terrorist organization", Erdogan said Wednesday.

Although there is no immediate danger in the US presence and the alliances that Washington has formed there, Iran and Syria are concerned about the growing American sphere of influence and what it could mean for Iranian dominance in Syria and Iraq in the long term, according to Hassan Hassan, a Syria expert.

The PKK resumed a 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in July 2015.

"We agree 100 percent with Turkey's concern about PKK, a named terrorist group".

Weapons supplied to the YPG have in the past fallen into PKK hands, said Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The SDF, a US -backed group dominated by YPG but which also contains Arab elements, said that receiving USA arms and military equipment would "hasten the defeat" of the jihadists.

During his London visit, Yildirim is also expected to hold bilateral meetings with world leaders, including British Prime Minister Theresa May. The vote remains marred by voter fraud allegations.

An AFP correspondent saw SDF fighters distributing candies to their comrades as they celebrated at the dam overlooking Lake Assad, a large reservoir created by the facility in the 1970s.

Speaking on a joint press conference with Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma in Ankara, Erdogan said" A terrorist group can not be defeated with another one,"quoted by local private broadcaster NTV.

"It's obvious Americans are quite pragmatic about the Syrian question", said Atilla Yesilada, political consultant of Global Source Partners.

In a surprise announcement, the Pentagon said Trump had authorised the arming of the SDF s Kurds "to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqa". "What they need is heavy weaponry". "Security operations continue in the area", read a tweet from the Peoples' Protection Units (YPG).

Conflicting approaches to Kurdish militias in the global fight against the IS has caused tensions between Turkey and the West.

Washington is going on the charm offensive.

Their half-hour conversation took place before an global conference on Somalia, and Mattis said he had no doubt the US and Turkey would "work this out with due consideration and significant attention paid to Turkey's security, to NATO's security and the continuing campaign against ISIS". A high-level Turkish delegation including Chief of Staff General Hulusi Akar, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin and Turkey's spy chief Hakan Fidan had been in the United States laying the groundwork for the meeting. We will work very closely with Turkey in support of their security on their southern border.

He added: "If Turkey goes into the region, we as Syrians will do our best to stand with Turkey".

Turkey has warned the United States that its decision to arm Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State in Syria could end up hurting Washington, and accused its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally of siding with terrorists.

The post Erdogan urges U.S. to "immediately" reverse decision on arming Syrian Kurds appeared first on The Independent Uganda:. But given that Moscow also is backing the YPG, Ankara's room for maneuvering is viewed as limited.

"The problem would be solved if you just pulled out the PYD, YPG elements, and replaced them with the Free Syrian Army".

An alliance of Syrian Kurdish and Arab fighters has announced it has taken a strategically important town from so-called Islamic State (IS).

Other reports by Ligue1talk

Discuss This Article