Turkey says US picked wrong ally in Syria; Russia draws down forces

Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik says Turkey and the region are paying for the US choice of PKK affiliate, the YPG, as an ally in Syria, as Russia begins to downsize its presence in the region.

Photo by: Reuters Archive
Photo by: Reuters Archive

The Russian aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov, will be in the first group of warships to leave Syrian waters.

Turkey's Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday that Turkey and the region are paying the price for the US choosing the YPG as a partner in the fight against Daesh.

The YPG is the PKK's Syrian arm. Turkey, the US and the EU consider the PKK a terrorist organization, but the defence minister said it would be too much to say that US support for the YPG was linked to terrorism in Turkey.

The PKK has carried out a series of deadly attacks in Turkey since a ceasefire broke down in July 2015. Most recently, the government said it had "no doubt" the PKK ordered an attack in the western city of Izmir on Thursday which left four dead, including two assailants.

Meanwhile, Russia's military on Friday said it has begun scaling down its deployment to Syria, with Moscow's sole aircraft carrier and a number of other warships to be the first to quit the conflict zone.

"In accordance with the decision of the supreme commander of the Russian armed forces Vladimir Putin, the Russian defence ministry is beginning the reduction of the armed deployment to Syria," said military chief Valery Gerasimov.

TRT World's Abubakr Al Shamahi has more on the Russian draw down.

TRTWorld, Reuters