Trump, Erdogan Put on Friendly Face, Downplay Tensions

Erdogan: 'Unacceptable' for US to Arm Kurdish YPG

by Jason Ditz, May 16, 2017

President Trump met today with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, talking up the close military and economic relationship between Turkey and the United States and insisting that together, the two nations are “unbeatable” and would eliminate ISIS.

Of course, they couldn’t get together without arguing over the recent US decision to increase arms shipments to the Kurdish YPG, something Turkey has repeatedly declared themselves to angrily oppose. Erdogan reiterated today that this was “unacceptable.”

Turkey considers the YPG a “terrorist” group, and Erdogan has promised to push the matter with Trump, insisting the US arming of the YPG goes against international agreements. There is no sign, of course, that the US has changed its mind of arming the Kurds.

The US has decided that the YPG is the key to fighting against ISIS, and has picked them to conquer the ISIS capital of Raqqa. Turkey has attacked YPG targets in recent weeks, and the US has deployed troops to the Syria-Turkey border to try to prevent further escalation of that fighting.

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