Turkish ambassador to US accuses Washington of partnering with terrorists

Turkish Ambassador to the USA Serdar Kilic (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images).

Turkish Ambassador to the United States Serdar Kilic accused Washington on Monday of establishment a partnership with a terrorist organisation in the wake of the recent US decision to supply Syrian Kurdish forces with US arms.

On 9 May, the US Defense Department announced that President Donald Trump had approved a plan to arm Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in order to better fight the Islamic State group in Syria, despite objections from Turkey.

“I can hardly understand and accept the argument that the US has to conduct the operation in Raqqa by making use of YPG/PYD since there is no alternative on the ground. There is Turkey and there is the Free Syrian Army that have successfully conducted operation Euphrates Shield against Daesh … You cannot and you should not make use of a terrorist organisation in your fight against another terrorist organisation. Especially, when your 65-year-old ally tells you that this terrorist organisation, that you are in partnership with, constitutes an existential threat to its national security and stability,” Kilic said at an annual conference on Turkey-US relations.

Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group in Turkey, the United States and the European Union. However, the PYD and YPG, as well as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been receiving support from the United States in fighting Islamic State in Syria.

According to Kilic, Turkey, along with the Free Syrian Army, have killed over 3,000 Islamic State fighters in Syria, and over 60,000 Syrian refugees have received the opportunity to return to their home towns, liberated from terrorists.

Earlier in May, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Washington and held talks with Trump, during which the two sides discussed the Kurdish issue among other topics.