You are here: Home » News-IANS » Defence-Security
Business Standard

US plea to protect Syrian-Kurd militias unacceptable: Turkey

IANS  |  Ankara 

Turkish on Tuesday strongly rejected Washington's calls for his country to protect US-backed Kurdish militias in and said statements made by US asking for the same were "unacceptable".

At the start of his visit to and over the weekend, Bolton said that the American forces would remain in until the last remnants of the Islamic State were defeated and provided guarantees that it would not strike Kurdish forces allied with the US.

The top US was currently in and held meetings with his counterpart and others, news reported.

Speaking to party members in Ankara, Erdogan decried Bolton's statement as a "serious error".

"It is impossible for us to accept Bolton's message," he said in a live televised speech. "They are terrorists, for this reason, they cannot tell us 'don't touch those Kurds.' Whatever happens, if they are terrorists, we will do whatever it takes. This is what got very wrong."

Erdogan added that the Americans did not know who the and other Kurdish groups were. "If the US evaluates them as 'Kurdish brothers' then they are in a serious delusion," he said.

Turkey has drawn up plans to launch a military incursion into areas of to clear the region of the militias such as the YPG, one of the main cogs in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) umbrella group, which united Kurdish and local Arab units and was backed by American forces in the fight against the Islamic State.

While the -- which has deployed some 2,000 ground troops to the region, where they equip and train the SDF -- regards the as a solid fighting partner in the regional battle against the extremists, views them as a terrorist group inextricably linked to the PKK, Kurdish separatists that fought a decades-long insurgency in

"The terrorist organizations of the PKK and the PYD (the political arm of the YPG) can never represent my Kurdish brothers," Erdogan said, adding that his Army was ready to launch an operation in to clear the region of the militias.

Turkey wants to push the Kurdish forces to the east of the

SDF forces retain control of the key city of Manbij, a predominantly-Arab settlement to the west of the major river.

Turkish-backed Syrian militias captured a tranche of from the IS in its first major incursion into the territory in 2016. Then, in 2018, Turkey and its allies took province, located in far northwestern Syria, from Kurdish militias.

The YPG-led SDF have spearheaded the battle on the ground against the IS and were currently routing out insurgents from their last major settlement, Hajin, in the country's sparsely-populated east.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, January 08 2019. 19:32 IST