Turkey Tells US All Kurdish Militants Must Leave Syria

Turkey Not Comfortable With Kurds in Region

In a visit Tuesday with US special representative for Syria James Jeffrey, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar demanded that all Kurdish militants factions leave Syria immediately and permanently.

This is roughly in keeping with Turkey’s general hostility toward Kurds in general, and the YPG in particular. They have never before explicitly called for the Kurdish factions to “abandon” Syria entirely, however, and it’s not clear where they’d conceivably go.

The timing is also strange, as Turkish officials have been exclusively focused on Idlib Province lately, not the Kurds, and the meeting with Jeffrey was supposed to be a chance for Turkey to push the US to intervene in Idlib to save Turkish-backed Islamist rebels.

Turkey has been pushing for the US to distance itself from the Kurds, especially the YPG, throughout the Syrian War. With the YPG controlled substantially all of Syria’s northeast, there is no realistic possibility they’ll leave the country outright.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.