Potential YPG, Syrian opp. clash concerns US

‘We feel that sets back the overall effort, what we're trying to achieve on the ground,’ says State Dept.

Potential YPG, Syrian opp. clash concerns US

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S. has expressed concerns to the YPG, the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), of the group possibly coming into conflict with U.S. backed opposition forces in Syria, a spokesman said Thursday.

The U.S. wants the YPG to focus on its fight against ISIL and "not involve themselves in other fighting in Syria", said State Department spokesman Mark Toner.

"We've expressed our concerns, frankly, when they come into conflict with opposition forces on the ground," Toner said.

"We feel that sets back the overall effort, what we're trying to achieve on the ground."

He added that the U.S. continues to urge the YPG to "administer inclusively on territory that they've liberated, protect local populations and property and promote and protect human rights."

Toner's comments follow reports that clashes continued between YPG and moderate Syrian opposition forces in the Azaz corridor -- a narrow belt in the west of Euphrates river and runs from the Turkish border to Aleppo.

The corridor is considered a strategic strip as the western edge of the corridor's north¬ern end lies the Afrin area, which is controlled by YPG.

Regarding ongoing talks by the International Syria Support Group in Munich, Germany, Toner said Secretary of State John Kerry has had a series of meetings, including bilateral talks with his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“It has been a productive day" with "good meetings", Toner said, adding that the U.S. still wants "an immediate cease-fire and humanitarian access" in Syria. "We're continuing to pursue those goals in the meetings now, but I don't have anything to announce yet," he said.

All stakeholder members of the International Syria Support Group that is seeking a diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, had clearly identified that a cease-fire would not include "ISIL or [al] Nusra and a couple of other groups", Toner said without identifying the other groups.

The recent dispute between NATO allies Turkey and the U.S. centers on Washington’s objection to labeling the PYD as a terrorist group, instead classifying it as "a reliable partner".

Turkey opposed PYD’s participation in the Geneva talks, which were suspended after the first round due to intense air strikes and fighting.

The group was not invited to the talks by the UN's special envoy for Syria who called the meeting.

Turkey lists the PYD and its armed wing, the People’s Protection Units (YPG), as terror organizations.

The YPG has recently been supported by Russian air power in northern Syria.

The PYD recently opened an office in Moscow adorned with a poster of terrorist PKK group.

Last Mod: 12 Şubat 2016, 10:20
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