08:40 GMT +3 hours01 June 2016
Turkish soldiers on a tank sit opposite the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, at the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province (File)

‘US Will Regret Its Support of the Syrian Kurds, but It Will Be Too Late’

Middle East
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Turkey’s ambassador to Washington has threateningly called US support for the Syrian Kurds “a big strategic mistake”, adding that the US will regret it, but "it will be too late.”

Serdar Kilic, Turkey’s ambassador to Washington, has commented on US support for the Syrian Kurds, calling it “a big strategic mistake”.

The diplomat threateningly added that “it will be regretted, but it will be too late.”

“The Obama administration had put NATO member Turkey and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party, or PYD, on an equal footing — an ally and a terrorist organization,” Serdar Kilic said in an interview with The Washington Post.

Washington has long seen the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its YPG military wing as its best chance in the battle against Daesh (ISIL/ISIS) in Syria — much to the annoyance of Ankara, which sees the group as terrorists.

Soldiers carry ammunition as Turkish artillery fire from the border near Kilis toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016
© AP Photo/ Halit Onur Sandal
Soldiers carry ammunition as Turkish artillery fire from the border near Kilis toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey, Monday, Feb. 15, 2016

Turkey has shelled YPG positions inside Syria for four straight days, claiming the group threatens Turkish security.

US officials, including Vice President Joe Biden, have condemned the Turkish attacks on the YPG.

Meanwhile, Turkey wants to create a secure zone 10km within Syria, which would include the town of Azaz, according to a Reuters report.

Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan stated that thus Ankara wants "to prevent attempts to change the demographic structure of the area”.

Earlier in February, Turkey has summoned the US ambassador to the Turkish foreign ministry after a US State Department spokesman said Washington did not regard the PYD as a terrorist organization.

On Tuesday, the UN Security Council urged Ankara to adhere to international law in Syria, following a closed-door briefing requested by Russia. The meeting was called to address ongoing Turkish shelling of YPG positions across the Syrian border.

Syria's Kurdish Democratic Union Party has ties to Turkey's Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which remains listed as a terrorist group by the US State Department. However, while originally a communist organization, the group's imprisoned leader Abdullah 'Apo' Ocalan has switched philosophies, and now advocates the idea of a democratic confederacy which respects environmentalism and female equality. He remains an inspiration to Kurdish troops in Syria and Iraq who continue to fight Daesh alongside the central governments of those countries.  

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ally, support, terrorist organization, Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Serdar Kilic, Turkey, Syria, United States
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  • Mitach2002
    How about you use Turkish land to implement your ten km safe zone. You have no right to sovereign Syrian lands.
  • vendor
    Not sure why the American would regret anything? This is kindergarten type of talk.
  • Beady-eyed Insomniac
    From the manner the US moves on and re-writes historical notes - it is not possible for the US to be regretful
  • Sam Handwich
    Kilic the proverbial mad barking dog unable to bite (on it's own) ))
  • roycomfort
    The two most salient factors here are
    1) Azaz is held by a Free Syrian Army battalion, some of the 40,000 moderate resistance troops that Assad, Russia and the western left so determinedly pretend doesn't exist . There are no ISIS or al-Nusra fighters there. Bombing and razing it to the ground is just a continuation of the Russian-Assad strategy of destroying the moderate opposition, not the 'terrorists', which has been going on since Russia arrived. (The ISIS-held territory is 15 Km to the east of Azaz, not a single Russian or Syrian bomb on it!). Reason why is that Assad fears the moderate opposition most, they are the ones who have fought him for 5 years and the ones most likely to replace his Alawite regime with a broader-based, multi-ethnic one.
    2) There are two rival Kurdish factions and militias, the Iraqi Kurdish Regional Government, its Peshmerga troops and the Kurdish National Council in Syria, which oppose Assad and fight against him, then the PYD, which is a Turkish PKK front organisation,, controls Rojava, keeps the Peshmerga out and the KNC down, sees Rojava as a rear base for the PKK, pushes Arabs and Turkmen out of the area and brings Kurds in and works hand-in-hand with Assad. Ir is extremely unpopular with the Syrian opposition, which wouldn't touch it with a bargepole.

    You have to wonder why the PYD troops are attacking the FSA, the moderate opposition. Answer is simple, they want to grab the Arab lands between Afrin and Lake Assad, where there are very few Kurds, and turn it into Kurdish land with very few Arabs. Whether Russia should be assisting them in their ethnic strategy is another question, it seems fixated on Turkey because it dared to defend its airspace.

    The Turks have always backed the opposition, quite understandable that they will defend the FSA in Azaz as best they can. It is also understandable that they will not sit by while the PYD Kurds take over Arab lands on their border.

    The Russian strategy here is not chess, it is point-scoring political by your President.
  • ivanwa88
    roycomfort I find your unilateral support of FSA as incorrigible! show me what FSA has done to distinguish its behaviour towards all peoples of Syria? to warrant any acceptance as a legitimate force and not another beheader branch of paid mercenaries!
    Have they fought to protect all inhabitants? have they lobbied for aid and or fought to break sieges by ISIS ala Daesh and other terrorists?
    Not one single incident of note puts them in any form legitimacy! Had they possessed that pride of nation they would have joined Assad to firstly get rid of there peoples tormentors!
    The only factor keeping FSA fighting is that they are paid mercenaries.
  • ivanwa88
    vendor they did say 'strategic' mistake! I read it as your ambitions to subjugate Syria without our fullest support and military action is doomed! that will be a major regret for US ambitions in facilitating Russia's decline.
  • ivanwa88
    P.S. Any land taken by Kurds without Syria's express permission will be taken back!
    Someone needs to remind Kurds this is not a 'Land Grab'. Syria has not yet set the tone its a matter of timing! but they should think very wisely before getting carried away as a war on all sides would see Kurds badly beaten....if they don't respect Syrian sovereignty.
  • vendorin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
    ivanwa88, the Kurds are doing the right thing and will suffer the biggest losses in coming weeks and months. It is not a land grab and I think SAA does not really want to get in there right now. I think SAA will get to 30-40 km from Turkey and will stop there for some time. The Kurds will be the group who may push it. SAA after Aleppo will focus on Raqqa. With Aleppo and Raqqa in their pocket they will literally walk back to the Syrian border with Turkey and seal it and Turks won't have a reason to retaliate as ISIS would fall by then. The international community at that stage would harshly judge any silly Turkish move.
  • vendorin reply toivanwa88(Show commentHide comment)
    ivanwa88, do not forget the Kurds are Syrian too so all this "fear" is unnecessary. I see Kurds getting autonomy of some sort. Everyone will have to get something to stop the war. It will matter how to wrap it up but resta assured it won't be just SAA who will be declared a winner. There will be a few of them.
  • dvdgrg09
    US and Turkey are the original actors in the Syrian terror show. Now the show is falling apart the actors are at each other's throats.
  • ivanwa88
    vendor definitely see Kurds getting land concessions always have! but just lately the tone has changed with Kurds renaming towns etc in regions outside there usual occupancy!
    Just getting a bit beyond themselves.....hopefully not!
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