YPG threatens to withdraw from Raqqa ops amid Turkish attacks

YPG threatens to withdraw from Raqqa ops amid Turkish attacks
Kurdish fighters from the People's Protection Units (YPG) gather near their headquarters after it was hit by Turkish airstrikes in Mount Karachok near Malikiya, Syria, April 25, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said
4 years ago

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SULAIMANI — The People’s Protection Units (YPG) said it will withdraw its forces from the operation to liberate Raqqa from the Islamic State (ISIS) if the United States does not take measures over Turkish airstrikes against the YPG.

YPG Spokesperson Nasrin Abdullah said the U.S. should have a response to Turkey’s ongoing airstrikes against the YPG, al-Arabiya reported on Friday (April 28).

Abdullah said the airstrikes are “unacceptable” according to international law.

As a result of Turkish shelling on Tuesday (April 25), 20 members of the YPG were killed in Mount Karacok in northern Syria.

The United States has expressed concern over the Turkish airstrikes on the Kurds in Syria.

U.S. State Department’s Spokesman, Mark Toner, said the U.S. will continue to press the case with Turkey going forward that all of the forces need to focus on the fight against ISIS.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday (April 26) that the Turkish airstrikes on both Iraq and Syria were “unacceptable” and that they were “inflicted on the territory of sovereign states.”

The YPG, the leading group in the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), is viewed by the U.S. favorably due to the Kurdish group’s successful fight against ISIS militants in Syria.

Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organization, saying it is interlinked with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), a Kurdish group that has waged a three-decade long conflict against the Turkish state in an attempt to advance Kurdish autonomy.

The backing of the YPG by the U.S. has driven a wedge between the two NATO countries, with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling on the U.S. to side with Turkey.