On Friday, Turkey blasted the United States after images were posted online showing US Special Forces in Syria wearing the insignia of a Kurdish group, opposed by Ankara, in a show of solidarity with the only fighters who have consistently repelled Daesh advances on the ground in northern Syria.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during an international conference that it was “unacceptable” for US soldiers to use patches depicting the logo of the YPG – the Kurdish People’s Protection units.
The minister said that he conveyed his disfavor to US officials in Washington and Ankara, as well.
Cavusoglu also condemned the early Pentagon explanation, that the patches were worn in a limited circumstance, to ensure the protection of the soldiers.
"In that case, we would recommend that they use the patches of Daesh, al-Nusra and al-Qaida when they go to other parts of Syria and of Boko Haram when they go to Africa," the Turkish spokesman declaimed. "To those who say they don’t consider the YPG to be the same as these terrorist groups, this is our response: this is applying double standards, this is being two faced."
YPG fighters are viewed by Ankara as an extension of the Kurdish Workers’ Party, or PKK, which is labeled a terror organization by Turkey, the United States, and the European Union, but not by Russia and the United Nations.
The Obama Administration, in contrast, views the Kurds as being instrumental in the effort to turn back Daesh in Syria. The much-celebrated Kurdish fighters have excelled above all fighting forces in the country, successfully liberating large areas of northern Syria from violent extremists.
On Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook explained that US Special Forces have in the past "worn insignia and other identifying marks with some of their partner forces and what I will say is that special operations forces, when they operate in certain areas, do what they can to, if you will, blend in with the community to enhance their own protection, their own security."
An ongoing rift continues regarding the transition process in Syria, with the US-ally Turkey on one side, engaged in routine illicit oil trade and arms sales with Daesh while calling for the ouster of Bashar al-Assad in Syria and excluding the Kurds from the negotiating table, while on the other side the supposedly hostile Russians call for a focused effort to stabilize Assad until the extremists have been dispatched.
At the urging of Ankara and Riyadh, the White House has also approved advanced military aid to the ‘moderate rebels’ in Syria, groups loosely affiliated with the terror organization al-Nusra, which itself maintains ties to both al-Qaeda and Daesh.
Some on Capitol Hill have called for the Obama Administration to reconsider its relationship with Turkey, in light of Ankara’s flippant attitude about the safety and security of US Special Forces, along with a litany of recent offenses, including crackdowns against journalists, the implementation of dictatorial control in the parliament, indiscriminate prosecutions against opposition lawmakers under Turkey’s terrorist laws, and evidence that embattled Turkish President Erdogan ordered a false-flag sarin gas attack in Syria that almost led to a US invasion.
Instead, the United States is viewed as unceremoniously placing the ego of an increasingly-fascist Erdogan over the wellbeing of US troops and their effectiveness in the effort against Daesh, again kowtowing to strident rhetoric pouring out of Ankara.
On Friday, Colonel Steve Warren, the Baghdad-based spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve backtracked on comments made by Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook in justifying the patches, saying, "Wearing those YPG patches was unauthorized and inappropriate, and corrective action has been taken. We have communicated as much to our military partners and allies in the region."
Regardless of how the move is described, the US military has unequivocally punished soldiers wearing, for their own safety, the colors of the forces helping to fight terrorism in Syria, all to allay the fears of a budding dictator actively aiding and abetting terrorists while simultaneously attempting to undermine the Assad government.