President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he believes Americans and Europeans allies are not sincere in their statements about their opposition to the PKK and other terror groups.

Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said,
Col. Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said, "The Coalition does not approve of the display of divisive symbols and imagery at a time in which we remain focused on the defeat of Daesh in Syria." (AP)

US officials on Friday criticised the display of PKK symbols in Syria's Raqqa on Thursday after the SDF took control of the city from Daesh.

"We condemn the display of PKK leader and founder Abdullah Ocalan during the liberation of Raqqa," Pentagon Spokesman Major Adrian Rankine-Galloway said on Friday.

A large banner of jailed PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan was raised by the YPG/PYD in an iconic square in the Syrian city of Raqqa after the US-backed SDF took control of the city from Daesh forces.

"The PKK has been a US designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997 and we continue to see PKK as a destabilising actor it the region. The United States continues to support our NATO Ally Turkey in its multi-decade struggle against the PKK and recognizes the loss of life Turkey has suffered in that conflict."

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also lashed out at US and European allies' policy over the Ocalan posters, and said he believes Americans are not sincere in their statements about their opposition to the PKK and other terror groups.

“They hung up posters of the chief terrorist [Ocalan] in Raqqa. How will the US explain that? It says the PKK is a terrorist organisation. EU countries also say that. But they hung up a poster of the chief terrorist on a building in France during a live broadcasting on their state TV station and the police just watched. How will they explain it? Is that solidarity in counterterrorism?” Erdogan said.

The US-led anti-Daesh coalition also said it does not approve of the display of divisive symbols.

"The Coalition is aware of reports of celebration and displays of Ocalan symbols in Raqqa. The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) leadership did not sanction such display,” Colonel Ryan Dillon, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, said.

"Furthermore, the Coalition does not approve of the display of divisive symbols and imagery at a time in which we remain focused on the defeat of Daesh in Syria," he said.

TRT World's Christine Pirovolakis reports.

The YPG/PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK, which has waged war against Turkey for more than 30 years, was among the US-backed SDF that took control of Raqqa from Daesh earlier this week.

The YPG/PYD also released a video dedicating its win over Daesh in Raqqa to Ocalan, who founded the PKK in 1978. The PKK chief was jailed for treason in Turkey in 1999.

When asked by Anadolu Agency why a win over Daesh enabled by the US was dedicated to a terrorist group, Pentagon spokeswoman Dana W. White declined to comment directly.

The US has supported the SDF, which consists of the YPG/PYD and other groups, in fighting Daesh in Syria. Washington has largely ignored the YPG's links to the PKK despite several warnings by Ankara.

The PKK launched its armed campaign against the Turkish state in 1984 and has killed thousands of people since then. It is recognised as a terrorist group by EU, Turkey and the US.

"What else does the US want to see?"

“What else does the US want to see to understand that the YPG and PYD are terrorist groups? We are curious about this,” Turkish Prime Minisrer Binali Yildirim, said on Friday warning that the incident could further strain ties between the Ankara and Washington.

"Such images are a great misfortune,” Yildirim told reporters after Friday prayers in Istanbul.

“We have constantly told our ally, the United States of America, [and] the latest image shows the regretful consequences of cooperating with one terrorist organisation to destroy another.”

Source: TRTWorld and agencies