The U.S. has chosen the wrong partner in the war against terrorism in Syria by supporting the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria despite its NATO ally Turkey’s warnings, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said.
“American reliance on the People’s Protection Units is a self-inflicted error when the United States already has a capable partner in Turkey,” read Çavuşoğlu’s article titled “America Has Chosen the Wrong Partner,” which was published in the New York Times on Jan. 28.
“An impasse has been created between us by the United States’ choice of local partner in this war: A group that the American government itself recognizes as a terrorist organization.”
The YPG “is simply the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party terrorist organization [PKK] by another name,” the Turkish minister said.
Both the U.S. and Turkey consider the PKK as a terrorist group in Syria but Washington sees the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the YPG as a partner in the field in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“In this geography and beyond, Turkey and the United States share the goal of defeating terrorist organizations that threaten our nations. Daesh has been our common enemy, and the victory against the group could not have been possible without Turkey’s active contributions,” Çavuşoğlu said, using the Arabic acronym for ISIL.
“American officials have told us that the United States wants to remain engaged and needs boots on the ground in Syria to prevent the remnants of Daesh from regrouping. But fighting Daesh cannot and should not mean that we will not fight other terrorist groups in our region that threaten our country and the security of our citizens,” he said.