Less than a day after Turkish President Erdogan issued a statement complaining about the US and other nations aiding “Kurdish terrorists” in Syria, the US State Department is issuing its own statement criticizing the Kurds, and expressing “concerns” about reports of ethnic violence in their territory.
“We are aware of the reports and we are concerned by them and we are seeking more information about them,” officials warned. Turkish officials say there has been a recent influx of Arabs from northeast Syria, which is dominated by the Kurdish YPG, and claims of ethnic purges.
The YPG has gained considerable ground in the Hasakeh Province, backed by both the Assad government (in defense of the provincial capital) and by US airstrikes, which the US insists are purely being done to harm ISIS and not to help anyone.
Turkey considers the YPG (and indeed, many Kurdish groups) a terrorist organization, and is expressing growing disquiet with the amount of power they have along the border. Kurdish factions with secessionist ambitions have considerable influence in the bordering part of Turkey as well, and there is concern this de facto autonomous YPG territory will become a staging ground for operations against Turkey.