With the Kurdish YPG advancing into the ISIS capital of Raqqa, and US officials already designating Mayadin the “next ISIS capital,” there’s clearly a lot more US-backed invasions for the Kurds to take part in, and the US is looking to make the backing of those invasions more convenient, setting up airbases in Kurdish territory.
That’s not sitting well with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who expressed particular outrage at the US having an air base in the Kurdish town of Kobani, along the Turkish border and reiterating his long-standing opposition to the US having ties with the YPG at all.
“I find the US approach to the YPG in no way chic,” Erdogan insisted, saying that US soldiers and military officers are “hand in hand, arm in arm” with a group that Turkey considers a terrorist group. He conceded that he understands the US doesn’t consider the Kurds terrorists.
At the same time, Erdogan promised “retaliation without asking anyoe” in future strikes against Kurdish targets in Syria. The Turkish military has launched multiple strikes against Kurdish YPG targets within Syria over the past year, to the point that the US has deliberately positioned troops in between the two sides to try to limit the extent to which Turkey can get at them without risking bringing the US directly into the fighting.