One day after photographs of US Green Berets wearing patches of the Syrian Kurdish YPG on their uniforms surfaced, and after Pentagon officials insisted it was totally routine and not a big deal, the self-same Pentagon officials now say the Green Berets have ordered them to end the “unacceptable” behavior of wearing those self-same patches.
Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren insisted that “political sensitivities” make it wholly inappropriate for the US to wear the insignia of that particular “partner force,” though he did reiterate that the US special forces do that all the time and it otherwise isn’t a big deal.
Those sensitivities are likely from fellow NATO-member Turkey, as Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu issued a statement blasting the “two-faced” US for wearing YPG patches, saying the US troops might as well also wear the patches of ISIS and al-Qaeda when they operate in northern Syria.
Turkey considers the YPG to be a wing of the PKK, which they consider a terrorist group. They also consider materially every other significant Kurdish faction in the world as part of the PKK, and insist that they don’t see any difference between any of these groups and ISIS.
The US has previously downplayed the disagreement with Turkey over the matter, insisting they simply have a “different perspective.” The US has been arming the YPG to fight against ISIS for months now, even as Turkey has warned YPG forces not to take certain ISIS territory along the Turkish border.