23:15 GMT +320 February 2019
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    Turkish artillery fire from the border near Kilis town toward northern Syria, in Kilis, Turkey.

    Syrian Kurds Strain US-Turkish Relations, Complicate Alliances in Region

    © AP Photo / Halit Onur Sandal
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    US support for the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) could undermine traditional great power alliances in the Middle East by lending the impression the United States is aligned with the likes of Russia and Iran against Turkey and Saudi Arabia, a US-Turkish research institute said in a blog post.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Last week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan questioned US loyalty to Turkey because Washington still supported the PYD as it had been successfully fighting against the Islamic State terror group, which is also known as Daesh.

    "By taking a stand with PYD, the US gives the impression that it is partnering with its traditional adversaries, Iran and Russia, against its traditional allies, Turkey and Saudi Arabia," the post, published by the Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research, stated on Wednesday.

    The post added that the impression created by US support for the Kurds could limit Washington’s long-term operational power in the region, resulting in a takeover of leverage by Russia and Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.

    The new US strategy in the Middle East, according to the post, seems focused on staying on the sidelines amid power struggles between traditional allies and adversaries, only to interfere when direct US interests are involved.

    This is a strategic choice by the Obama administration that will weaken US foreign policy and lead individual allies in the Middle East "to take more initiative," the post admonished.

    In recent days, Turkey has intensified artillery shelling of Kurdish-held areas in northern Syria. Ankara claims that Syrian Kurds have links to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which fights for Kurdish independence from Turkey.

    PYD, and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG), have been active in northern Syria. The YPG scored a significant victory against the Daesh in the Kurdish town of Kobani, which was besieged by the Islamic terrorists between September 2014 and March 2015.


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    Kurds, Daesh, Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Syria
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