Turkey offers US joint Syria op, but without PYD

Ankara's proposal has one condition, however, which is not to include the PYD and YPG terrorist groups

Turkey offers US joint Syria op, but without PYD

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey is offering to "join forces" with Washington for a special operation inside Syria on condition it does not include a Syrian Kurdish militia blacklisted by Ankara but seen as an ally by the U.S., the foreign minister said.

Washington's support of Kurdish fighters in Syria in the fight against ISIL extremists has angered Ankara, especially after AFP pictures last week revealed U.S. commandos wearing patches of the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) outlawed by Turkey.

"If we join forces, they (the U.S.) have their own special forces and we have our special forces," Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told a small group of journalists.

"The subject we are discussing with the Americans is the closure of the Manbij pocket as soon as possible... and the opening of a second front," he said, referring to a backdoor border route favoured by ISIL for smuggling extremists into and out of Syria.

"We say okay, a second front should be opened but not with the PYD," he said, referring to the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the YPG's political wing.

Cavusoglu said Syrian Arab opposition forces opposing the regime of President Bashar al-Assad could be backed up with special forces from Turkey and NATO ally Washington as well as from France, Britain and Germany.

Such a "second front" could "easily" head to the ISIL's self-declared capital in Raqqa to the south.

"Unfortunately, both Russia and the United States see a terrorist organisation as a partner and support it," he said of the YPG.

The minister also said that recent deal with Washington, which would have seen American light multiple rocket launchers deployed along its border with Syria to combat ISIL, had been delayed.

Under the deal, the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) was to have been deployed along the Turkish border by the end of May, but Cavusoglu said it would now only happen in August.

"The United States is unfortunately not keeping its promise," he charged.

"We are completely ready. Not us, but the U.S. is responsible for the delay."

Güncelleme Tarihi: 30 Mayıs 2016, 09:55