Turkey welcomes US pledge to take weapons from Kurds after Islamic State defeat

Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) head a convoy of US military vehicles in the town of Darbasiya next to the Turkish border, Syria April 28, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said

Turkey regards as a “positive step” a US pledge to take back weapons supplied to the Kurdish YPG militia in Syria after the defeat of Islamic State and said its implementation was essential, Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday.

In an interview with broadcaster NTV, Isik also said Turkey would retaliate if it faced any threat from the YPG, which Ankara regards as a terrorist group tied to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who have fought a three-decade old insurgency in southeast Turkey.