Turkish FM: “US Making Contradictory Statements On YPG”
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu on Feb. 19 accused the United States of making contradictory statements about the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, which the Turkish government blames for the deadly attack that killed at least 28 people in Ankara on Feb. 17.
“Resorting to terrorist groups like the YPG in the fight against Daesh in Syria is above all a sign of weakness,” Çavuşoğlu was quoted as saying by Reuters, speaking at a news conference in the Georgian capital Tbilisi, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“Everyone must stop this mistake. In particular our ally the United States must stop this mistake immediately,” he added.
Washington’s support of the YPG in the fight against ISIL in Syria has enraged Ankara, which claims that the YPG is responsible for the bombing that hit an area between Turkey’s top military commands in Ankara.
Çavuşoğlu also said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told him that the YPG, a Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), could “not be trusted.”
“My friend Kerry has said the YPG cannot be trusted,” he said.
“So when you look at some statements coming from America, conflicting and confused statements are still coming … We were glad to hear from John Kerry yesterday that his views on the YPG have partly changed,” he added.
The U.S. has repeatedly said it does not consider the YPG a terrorist group. In addition, U.S. State Department Spokesperson John Kirby said on Feb. 18 that Washington was “not in a position to either confirm or deny” Turkey’s charge that the YPG was behind the Ankara bombing attack. Kirby also again called on Turkey to stop its recent shelling of the YPG across the border in Syria.