Turkey insists that US is arming the YPG in Syria

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says,"To date, the US has been providing weapons to the YPG — period."

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Ankara accuses Washington of arming the YPG despite assurances to the contrary from the US embassy in Ankara.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in a live TV interview early on Tuesday that it's "clearly known" the US has been giving arms to the YPG in Syria. The statement came after Washington had denied a similar claim earlier this week.

"The coalition that includes the United States has not been supporting Operation Euphrates Shield for a while. They have supplied weapons to the PYD and the YPG. Period. This is clearly known. The US has given weapons to the YPG," Cavusoglu said.

The American embassy in Turkey's capital Ankara on Wednesday issued a statement denying earlier accusations that the US has provided weapons to terrorist groups in Syria.

The denial followed President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's statement on Wednesday that rather than supporting Turkey, the west was backing the YPG and PYD, as well as Daesh. 

The YPG is the armed wing of the PYD – the Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and the EU.

Cavusoglu was also critical of US-led coalition forces which had not recently provided air support to Turkey-backed opposition fighters taking part in Operation Euphrates Shield against Daesh.

He said the YPG aims to form a "terror corridor" in northern Syria and that it was putting "pressure on the Americans" not to give air support to Turkish-backed forces fighting Daesh.

In an award ceremony hosted by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey on Thursday, Erdogan called on western countries not to distinguish between terrorist organisations and be consistent in this regard.

TRTWorld and agencies