US State Dept says YPG moves in Syria ‘counterproductive’

US State Department Deputy Spokesman Toner says YPG moves in northern Syria are counterproductive and undermines effort to defeat DAESH

Photo by: Reuters (Archive)
Photo by: Reuters (Archive)

US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner

US State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday that YPG attacks on opposition in Syria is undermining fight against DAESH. 

“We’ve been very clear that these moves by the YPG on the ground, we believe, are counterproductive and undermine our collective efforts in northern Syria to defeat ISIL [DAESH],” Toner said answering questions about the clashes and the situation in the area. 

“They [YPG] have attacked areas close to Azaz, including the Menagh airbase. We have been clear to them in our communications with them that this – these moves we consider to be counterproductive to the overall effort to defeat ISIL [DAESH],” Toner added.

YPG is the armed wing of PYD, which is considered by Turkey as the Syrian extension of PKK, which is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU.

With the help of Russian air strikes, YPG militants have recently been making advances in opposition held areas in northern Syria despite the warning by Turkey and other allies to stop.

Turkey has also been hitting YPG in northern Syria since the militant group attacked Turkish military positions on Saturday.

“We have urged the YPG to avoid moves that will heighten tensions with Turkey and with other Arab opposition forces in northern Syria, because we believe they’re counterproductive,” Toner said.

Turkey is a part of US-led coalition against DAESH and have been hitting the terrorist group since last year.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday that Turkey will not allow the Syrian town of Azaz across from the Turkish border fall under the control of YPG.

“We will not let Azaz fall. The YPG will not be able to cross to the west of the Euphrates (River) and east of Afrin,” Davutoglu said.

TRTWorld and agencies