Turkey: US Must Cut Ties With Syrian Kurds After Offering Rewards for PKK

Erdogan says hostile stance toward YPG won't change

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar called the US offering rewards for the capture of PKK militants a “very, very late step,” and demanded that the US follow this up by cutting all ties with the Syrian Kurdish group, the YPG.

The YPG and PKK deny having any formal ties, but Turkey has long claimed that the YPG is effectively a wing of the banned PKK, and has claimed that makes them “terrorists.” They have long demanded the US cut ties with the YPG.

The US considers the PKK terrorists, but is closely allied with the YPG. Turkey’s Erdogan government says their current hostile stance toward the YPG will not be changed simply to meet US expectations.

Turkey has attacked the YPG recently in northeastern Syria, and has threatened more attacks. On Wednesday, Turkish officials reported they exchanged fire with, and killed, a single YPG militant. They say the YPG fighter fired first.

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.