The recently published report also includes testimony from incarcerated members of the PKK including a terrorist known as C.K. who said, “The PYD was formed in order to recruit members for the PKK in Syria”.
“This is an vast milestone”, Ernst says.
Preparations for the visit were inauspicious, with Washington announcing for the first time it would arm Syrian Kurdish fighters who Ankara considers to be terrorists. Instead, the current administration made a decision, with apparently minimal consideration, that will likely have only moderate effects on the ground-after all, the United States could have simply increased the clandestine flow of arms to the YPG-but sits very poorly with an ally.
Putin said the fact that the Kurds were engaged in the fight against Islamic State militants meant it made sense to maintain working contacts with them however “even if it’s only to avoid (accidental) clashes”.
Though the United States has acknowledged receiving a formal extradition request from Turkey’s government, U.S. officials say they need more hard evidence linking Gulen to the elaborate plans. “They have worked quite well with American forces and it’s the right thing to do”, Ernst says. Therefore, the U.S. president’s decision to supply heavy weapons to the Syrian Kurds was a cold shower for the leadership of Turkey.
The liberation of Tabqah, which began on March 22, isolates ISIS’ self-proclaimed capital of Raqqa on three sides, but Ranke-Galloway would not speculate about how long it would take to fully isolate the ISIS stronghold. Later, Turkey’s air attacks on Syrian and Iraqi Kurdish militia positions were declared illegitimate.
“It is obvious that terrorist activities of both the PKK/ KCK and the PYD/YPG will cause harm to other countries besides Turkey and Syria due to the nature of terrorism”.
According to the United States officials, President Donald Trump has given the required approval to supply weapons to the Kurdish forces fighting the ISIS in Syria.
So the USA can make some concessions to ease Turkey’s concerns: promising that it has no intention of recognizing a sovereign Kurdish state, for example, or that it will cut off the arms flows if there is strong evidence weapons are flowing across the border to Turkish Kurds, or that Turkish forces can remain in control of the city of al Bab, west of Raqqa, which they conquered in February.
WASHINGTON (AP) The United States is on a collision course with its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Turkey, pushing ahead with arming Syrian Kurds after deciding the immediate objective of defeating Islamic State militants outweighs the potential damage to a partnership vital to USA interests in the volatile Middle East.
The pair will sit down at the White House on Tuesday to discuss how to “deepen our cooperation to confront terrorism in all its forms”, according to a Trump administration statement announcing the event.
Recent events add a large dose of drama to the upcoming Trump-Erdogan discussions.
In August 2015, Turkey joined a US-led coalition fighting the IS, after being hit by a deadly suicide attack near the border in July.
On the night of July 15-16, 2016, an attempted coup by members of the Turkish army, aimed at toppling Erdogan, left nearly 250 people dead. Those include extraditing the Pennsylvania-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for fomenting a failed coup last summer, and dropping US charges against Reza Zarrab, a Turkish businessman accused of money-laundering and violating USA sanctions in Iran.
The Obama administration had not acted on the extradition request, responding to the Turkish government that the Departments of Justice and of State would review the evidence presented and act accordingly pursuant to the extradition treaty between the USA and Turkey.
Erdogan is expected to ask Trump directly to extradite Gulen.
It was unclear whether Erdogan would be mollified by US offers to compensate for Ankara’s acceptance of the YPG role in the battle for Raqqa. Gulen, who denies any involvement in the failed coup, has been living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. state of Pennsylvania since 1999.