British ambassador to Turkey says PYD, PKK are linked

British ambassador to Turkey says that Syria’s PYD has clear connections with PKK terrorist organisation and UK is not arming them baceuse it is aware of danger

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

British Ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore meets with Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator Volkan Bozkir in Ankara on April 7, 2016.

The UK ambassador to Turkey Richard Moore said on Saturday that it is clear that the PYD is connected to the PKK terrorist organisation and London is not backing the materialisation of a Kurdish state in northern Syria.

“England is the strongest partner of Turkey on the issue of the PKK. The PYD has been affiliated with the PKK. If you go to a PYD [political] office, you will see the picture of Abdullah Ocalan, which clearly exposes their connections,” the British ambassador said during an interview with Turkey’s CNNTURK TV channel on Saturday morning.

Abdullah Ocalan is the imprisoned founder and leader of the PKK which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, the EU, and NATO.

“We are not arming [them]. The US is not arming them either as far as I understand. They have only been receiving air support because they are fighting against ISIS [DAESH],” Moore underlined.  

“We are not arming them because we are aware of the danger they have been posing [in the region],” he indicated.  

Turkey considers the PYD as the Syrian extension of the PKK and a terrorist group, though US administration regards the PYD as an ally in the fight against DAESH and rejects the notion that PYD has any connection with the PKK.

These differences have recently led to growing tension between Ankara and Washington over US policy in northern Syria.

The PYD expansion in northern Syria against DAESH has been supported by US-led air strikes until now. The Pentagon confirmed last October that its cargo planes dropped “small arms ammunition” for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which was a newly-formed militant coalition at the time led mainly by YPG, the militant wing of the PYD.

Ankara has consistently protested the US backing of the PYD.

However, the US Ambassador to Turkey, John Bass, said on Thursday that the United States is not providing the YPG with weapons or ammunition.

But Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported on Friday that the US administration has continued to supply the YPG with military supplies that were recently brought by US helicopters to the strategic Rmeilan airfield, located in Syria's northern Hasaka Province, according to local sources.

The UK ambassador has also pointed out that Britain does not “accept a Kurdish declaration of statehood in northern Syria.”

“We defend the integrity of Syria. We want a single Syria in a body. But we do not know how this end will be achieved,” Moore added.

In mid-March, the PYD declared that the areas, which have been under its control in northern Syria, will form a self-administered "federal democratic system” in the region.

Following the statement, Turkey and the United States announced they would not recognise such a move.

A number of Syrian opposition factions also condemned a declaration of federalism in the PYD-controlled territories of northern Syria and criticised the YPG and its political arm PYD as being terrorist groups indicating that the federalism announcement was a "project to divide" Syria.

TRTWorld and agencies