Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. AP photo
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has renewed a threat that his country opposes any move aimed at the establishment of a Kurdish state in northern Syria, or Rojava, and accused Turkey’s allies, notably the US, of dealing with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).
"Nowadays, there is some negative progress in Syria,” Turkish Anadolu agency quoted Erdogan as saying in reference to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) advances against the ISIS capital of Raqqa. “If that causes any threat to our borders, the world should know that we will react the same as we did in Operation Euphrates Shield,” he threatened.
Erdogan indirectly blamed the US for dealing with the YPG and supplying it with arms.
"Unfortunately, our strategic partner countries are acting together with terrorist countries," Erdogan said on Friday. "We told them to act against Daesh together. Can we not handle the business with nine coalition countries against Daesh? This PYD, YPG, are terrorist groups. They unfortunately insisted on going the other way."
The YPG is been the main force in the SDF which is currently leading an offensive against ISIS in Raqqa.
Ankara has long called on the US to not arm the YPG, calls largely ignored by Washington.
Turkish officials said Thursday that US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had reassured them that arms supplied to the YPG in the ongoing battle will be taken back once Raqqa is free.