Turkey’s Erdogan: West Bombs Syrian Arabs But Supports Kurdish ‘Terrorists’

Growing Turkish Anger Over YPG Gains in Northeast Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is still reeling from his election defeat, and seems to be taking his foul mood out on the US and other nations, complaining the Western coalition is bombing Arabs and Turkomen in Syria while backing the “Kurdish terrorist” groups and their growing power base.

Erdogan’s policy toward Syria has been one disaster after another, initially backing the Sunni rebels on the idea they’d more effectively tamp down Kurdish secessionist ambitions, only to see the war explode, leaving them with a border covered by ISIS, al-Qaeda, and a de facto independent Kurdish state run by the YPG.

The YPG is closely linked to Turkey’s banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), and is considered a terrorist organization in Turkey. The YPG has also become a key ally to the US and other nations fighting ISIS, as one of the few forces along the ISIS frontier that seems to be able to hold its own.

Erdogan is still seeing the war through the lens of YPG growth in the northeast, and is likely to continue to press the US coalition to cut ties with them. Ironically, if the US did this and the YPG started losing ground, it would mean an influx of Kurdish refugees into Turkey, many of them with PKK ties.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.