Baku, Azerbaijan, May 18
By Orkhan Quluzade – Trend:
Ankara failed to persuade the US not to support the Democratic Union Party (PYD), listed by Turkey as a terrorist group, says Ismail Hakki Pekin, former head of intelligence at General Staff of the Turkish Armed Forces.
The US will support PYD by providing it with arms, he told Trend May 18.
“US officials said PYD will participate together with the US-led coalition against the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) terrorist group in the operations to liberate the Syrian city of Raqqa, which is the main stronghold of the IS,” Pekin said.
“The US support for PYD will negatively affect the Ankara-Washington relations,” he said. “However, closing the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey or imposing other sanctions against Washington aren’t yet matter of discussion.”
Pekin added that Washington will continue to support Turkey in the fight against the IS and in operations against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorist group in northern Iraq.
“Washington may also cooperate with Ankara to expand security zones and humanitarian corridors in Syria,” he said. “The Turkish Armed Forces cannot carry out new military operations in the direction of Syrian northwestern city of Idlib as this territory is declared a de-escalation zone.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has recently met with US counterpart Donald Trump for the first time. During the meeting, the main topics of discussions were bilateral relations and regional issues. Special attention was paid to the settlement of the Syrian crisis. Erdogan told Trump about Ankara's concern over Washington's support for PYD.
Earlier, President Trump approved a plan for providing PYD with arms in Syria despite Turkey's objections.
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