Turkey Slams ‘unacceptable’ Photos of US Troops Wearing Kurdish Patches While They Fight ISIS

screen shot 2016-05-27 at 7.43.01 amPhotos of US troops wearing patches from the Kurdish People’s Protection Unit, known as the YPG, while fighting the Islamic State alongside Kurds in Syria have enraged Turkey’s foreign minister, who on Friday called the photos “unacceptable.”

“It is unacceptable that an ally country is using the YPG insignia,” the foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoğlu, said. İt is impossible to accept it. This is a double standard and hypocrisy.”
About 250 US special-operations troops were sent to northern Syria earlier this year to advise Kurdish and Arab forces battling the Islamic State there. The YPG has proved to be the most effective ground force fighting the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, but the territorial expansion the YPG’s victories have afforded it is vehemently opposed by Turkey, an important US ally and NATO member.Ankara views Kurdish demands for autonomy as a threat to Turkey’s sovereignty and backs many of the rebel groups that have clashed with the YPG. Turkey has also linked the YPG to the PKK, the designated terrorist organization known as the PKK that is waging an insurgency in Turkey’s southeast.

Some analysts therefore speculated when the photos first emerged Thursday that the Americans’ show of solidarity with the Kurds would further inflame tensions between the US and Turkey.

Center (NCTC) labeled the YPG the Syria wing of the ‘designated’ PKK in 2014,” he added.
The photos, taken by Delil Souleiman for AFP, have reignited the debate over Washington’s support for the YPG, with some calling the patches “politically tone deaf” and others insisting it is “perfectly normal.”World.

About 250 US special-operations troops were sent to northern Syria earlier this year to advise Kurdish and Arab forces battling the Islamic State there. The YPG has proved to be the most effective ground force fighting the Islamic State, the militant group also known as ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh, but the territorial expansion the YPG’s victories have afforded it is vehemently opposed by Turkey, an important US ally and NATO member.

 

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