Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim warned Friday that the United States’ continued support of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) may become a “problem” for the bilateral relations.
Ankara considers the YPG and Democratic Union Party (PYD) to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group in Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
“We are talking about two NATO countries, there should not be [problems], there is no reason for them. However, if they demonstrate a stance different from what they told us concerning PYD-YPG issue, there will be a problem for sure,” Yildirim was quoted as saying by the NTV broadcaster.
On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his disapproval over Washington’s support of YPG during his talks with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
PYD and YPG, as well as the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) have been receiving support from the United States in fighting the Daesh terror group (outlawed in Russia). The actions of US authorities were opposed in Turkey and led to disagreements between Washington and Ankara.
On May 9, the US Defense Department announced that President Donald Trump had approved a plan to arm Kurdish YPG in order to better fight against terrorism in Syria despite objections from Turkey.