Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Ankara Threatens Washington against Isolating Moscow | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
Select Page
Media ID: 55375063

A US officer, from the US-led coalition at the site of Turkish airstrikes near northeastern town of Derik, known as al-Malikiyah in Arabic, on April 25, 2017 (photo by: DELIL SOULEIMAN/AFP/File)

Ankara, Beirut – Ankara hinted on Friday it could attack US forces in the northeast of Syria if Washington continues to provide Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) with weapons.

The Turkish position came while the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which includes YPG members and Arab fighters, are about to oust ISIS from the “Euphrates Dam,” the third largest dam in Syria.

On Friday, President Tayyip Erdogan’s foreign policy adviser Ilnur Cevik said there was an alliance between Turkey and the US, but if Washington continues to support Kurdish militias, then Ankara will attack members of the YPG, and its missiles could hit US forces located in north Syria.

The comments delivered by Cevik coincided on Friday with the SDF announcement that a new batch of heavy arms had been provided by the US Army as part of the rapid support to liberate Syria’s Raqqa from ISIS terrorists.

Ankara failed to convince Washington from withdrawing its decision to support YPG forces with weapons. Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the Turkish Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), designated by Ankara as a terrorist group.

SDF forces were now at the doors of the Euphrates Dam, located around 27 kilometers from the east of al-Tabqa city. The dam still constitutes a clashing point between those forces and ISIS militants.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday that since the beginning, his country was not pleased with Russia’s policy in Syria, and still expresses the same sentiment. The foreign minister, however, added that Ankara neither supports isolating Russia nor believes in the policies of imposing sanctions.

Speaking about the Iranian role at this stage, Gavusoglu said that Tehran is Ankara’s neighbor and both countries are bonded by historical relations, adding that: “The Iranian excessive ambitions are considered a threat to the region’s security, but we also refuse isolating Iran.”