Published: Thu, November 01, 2018
Global Media | By Derrick Guzman

Backed Syria Kurds accuse Turkey of jeopardizing ISIS fight

Backed Syria Kurds accuse Turkey of jeopardizing ISIS fight

Turkey has been infuriated by US support for the YPG, which it considers a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has fought an insurgency in southeast Turkey for more than three decades.

FILE - In this April 4, 2018 file photo, a US soldier sits in an armored vehicle on a road leading to the tense front line with Turkish-backed fighters, in Manbij, north Syria.

"The U.S. needs the YPG against [IS], since Arab [fighters] of SDF are not as efficient, as we can see in Deir el-Zour", he said.

The US-backed Kurdish-led force in Syria on Wednesday said it would temporarily halt operations against the "Islamic State" group (IS) after its forces came under fire by the Turkish military.

In fact, on Tuesday, as Erdogan threatened Syria's Kurds, denouncing them as "terrorists", he also charged that the USA "uses all terrorist organizations", including IS, "indiscriminately as a lever to achieve its goals in the region".


"I think Erdogan is going to increase the pressure on SDF because the U.S.is not willing to give him Manbij", said Fabrice Balanche, a researcher at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Last week, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, head of U.S. Central Command, told reporters traveling with him in the Middle East that the soldiers' training is expected to last "several more days", and then will transition to combined patrols.

The State Department said it was it touch with both Turkey and the SDF to deescalate the situation.

The Turkish government also demanded that Kurdish forces leave the northern town of Manbij, which was freed from IS by Kurdish-backed forces in August 2016. This assault has already forced Kurdish forces to retreat across the Euphrates river.

Turkey had repeatedly threatened to attack the town despite the presence of U.S. forces in the area.


The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have announced a pause in their campaign against ISIS following clashes between the SDF and Turkish forces, according to two US military officials and a statement from the SDF.

Turkey's Defence Minister recently announced that the United States and Turkey were set to begin joint patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij this week as part of a so-called "roadmap" agreement for the city, now held by the SDF-affiliated Manbij Military Council.

Despite the Manbij roadmap, Erdogan and the Turkish military have repeatedly stated they plan to advance east of the Euphrates to the clear the border of "terrorists".

Russian state-affiliated news agency Sputnik quoted Pentagon spokesperson Sean Robertson as saying that the usa was "in touch" with both Turkey and the SDF to "de-escalate the situation" on Tuesday.


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