US says PYD-controlled corridor in northern Syria is not option

US ambassador John Bass excludes Kurdish corridor led by PYD in northern Syria, emphasizing territorial integrity of country and political solution without Assad

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

US ambassador John Bass spoke in a televised interview on Thursday about the latest developments in Syria.

US ambassador to Turkey John Bass said in an interview on Thursday that the US does not have any intention to create a passage controlled by the PKK's Syrian wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD). Bass also emphasised that the US supports the territorial integrity of Syria and a solution with a political transition to a government without the Syrian regime leader Bashar al-Assad.

"We do not support parties using, capitalizing on, the current conflict in Syria to dismember the country or to create more than one political entity out of that country," he added.

When he was asked about the PYD, an actor that the US supports in the region and its intimate relations with PKK, Bass only confirmed the US to support the fight against ISIS.

Concerning PKK leader Cemil Bayik's statement that the PKK had contact with the US, John Bass said "the United States government is not in dialogue with the PKK."

The claims for a Kurdish controlled region arose following the clashes between the PYD's armed People's Protection Units (YPG) and ISIS in Tal Abyad, Syria in June. At that time thousands of Turkmens and Arabs fled to the Sanliurfa province in Turkey through the Akcakale crossing, on the Syrian-Turkish border and YPG was accused of ethnic cleansing, which had raised Ankara's concerns over national security.

Many Syrian opposition groups urged the PKK-affiliated PYD to stop committing "ethnic cleansing" against Arabs and Turkmens in northern Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier declared that Turkey will never allow the establishment of a state in northern Syria or southern Turkey, a region with a large Kurdish population, no matter what it costs for the country.

Bass also made an emphasis on the intimate relations and cooperation between Turkey and the US saying that "the two presidents, like the two governments, have a strong, productive, constructive working relationship. They talk to each other when the issues are sufficiently well-developed or when there is a need for them to talk. Just as our respective foreign ministers, our respective finance ministers and many other officials of our government's talk to each other. There is ongoing close coordination between both governments."

According to an earlier statement, Bass said that “Turkey and the US have common concerns against the self-proclaimed  ISIS in northwestern Syria along the Turkish border. We continue to work together on threats posed by ISIS.”

In July, Bass outlined three main principles for Turkish-American cooperation in order to cope with issues arising from the dynamics of the Syrian Civil War.

First, he stated that ISIS should be prevented from controlling border areas in northern Syria along the Turkish frontier and every group which has a presence over the border should combat ISIS.

Second, both countries observe the principle adhering the territorial integrity of a democratic Syria.

Lastly, Turkey and the US agree to allow ordinary people to conduct their routine business in the region and let others who left their homelands in order to save their lives from violent clashes return to their homes when they feel safe enough.

Turkey and the US have recently launched air strikes after agreeing to joint operations to hit ISIS targets in Syria.

The agreement between the two countries in part enables the US and coalition members to conduct flights out of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey, and for Turkish jets to launch air strikes against ISIS. Turkey last month conducted solo air strikes against ISIS targets inside Syria, but the agreement with the US has set a common targeting process that joins Turkish jets into the coalition force.

TRTWorld and agencies