Russia Assures Turkey They Aren’t Arming Syrian Kurds

Turkey Says It Won't Accept Any Cooperation With Kurds

Russian Deputy FM Mikhail Bogdanov today issued a statement assuring Turkey that they have not provided any arms to the Syrian Kurdish YPG faction, after days of public Turkish condemnations to that effect. Russia insisted their military aid to Syria centers on the government.

Russia has reportedly given some air support to the YPG in its offensive in the Aleppo Province against ISIS, centering on an effort to take the ISIS-held town of Jarabulus. The US had previously been trying to help the YPG in this area, but backed off amid Turkish objections.

But that backing appears not to have included any direct armament. The US had similarly insinuated early on that their airdrops of arms into Kurdish territory were including support for the YPG, but they’ve since insisted those arms were only provided to unnamed “Arab groups.”

Turkey still isn’t happy, however, insisting they won’t accept any cooperation with the Kurds under any circumstances, citing their official claims that the YPG, the armed wing of the PYD political group, has ties to the banned PKK, which Turkey is currently at war against.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.