State Dept Meets With Syrian Kurds Tied to Terror Group

Talks With PYD Could Strain US-Turkey Relations

The State Department confirmed today that it held a weekend meeting with the Kurdish Democratic Union (PYD), the political wing of the YPG, and a group with close ties to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

The PKK is considered a terrorist organization in the United States and perhaps more importantly in Turkey, where they’ve been fighting an on-again, off-again war for decades with the Turkish government.

Since the YPG is leading the defense of Kobani, the Syrian border town where the US is conducting massive airstrikes, it makes a lot of sense the State Department is interested in talking to them. It’s also a diplomatically risky move.

A lot of the Syrian rebel factions are in bed with terrorist groups, but the PKK is particular is a controversial one at a time when the US is trying to coax Turkey into the war.

Turkey was in the middle of a peace talks with the PKK, but after airstrikes against PKK fighters earlier this week that seems to be in ruins, and Turkey seems to be poised to start that war anew.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of