The Kurdish military units and various militias have long been admired by Westerners for their years-long fight against the Islamic State terrorists, despite a woeful lack of support from the Western democracies.
Now that President Trump Has US Marines and Rangers in-country specifically to wipe out the ISIS forces in the Syrian city of Raqqa, it turns out our supposed NATO allies, the Turks, are less than thrilled with the American move.
Complicating the matter even further is that the Kurds have been fighting an on-again off-again war of independence from the Turks, Syrians, Iranians and Iraqis respectively since the 1800s.
While the Ankara-government has made it quite clear they have no intention of allowing the Kurdish YPG (Yekîneyên Parastina Gel: People’s Protection Units) to occupy Raqqa after the ISIS savages either run away or die trying, the Turks certainly feel emboldened by having their new BFF Vladimir Putin having their collective backs.
As partially reported by the AP via KGTV (ABC San Diego);
The United States risks major damage to its relationship with NATO ally Turkey if the U.S. includes Kurdish forces in the fight to retake Raqqa, the Islamic State group’s de facto capital, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Thursday.
Turkey and the U.S. are locked in a heated dispute about U.S. plans to liberate Raqqa, with Turkey insisting its own military and allied forces in Syria should mount the fight and that U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds should be excluded.
Though the U.S. has been hoping to include both Turkey and the battle-hardened Kurdish forces, Yildirim insisted Turkey wouldn’t be part of any operation including the Syrian Kurdish force known as the YPG, considered by Ankara to be terrorists who threaten Turkey’s security.
“If the U.S. were to prefer terrorist organizations over Turkey in the fight against IS, that would be their own decision, but that wouldn’t be something we would consent” to, Yildirim told The Associated Press.
The prime minister also took issue with President Donald Trump’s use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” and said “we would be actually happy if our friends were to be a bit more cautious about this issue.”
In an earlier exchange with visiting foreign journalists, Yildirim said ties between the two countries would be significantly undermined, though he declined to name any specific steps Turkey — a member of the U.S.-led coalition fighting IS — might take in response. In the past, Turkey has hinted it could cut off access to Incirlik air base, home to coalition warplanes.
Though no decision has been formally announced, the U.S. has been sending signals that it is inclined to rely on the Kurdish forces, who have proven the most effective local force at battling IS. U.S. officials have said that Turkey, which has troops in Syria and is aiding other Syrian opposition fighters, has thus far failed to show that it has a force sufficiently large and capable to liberate Raqqa, the largest remaining IS stronghold.
— Caspar Schliephack (@SerioSito) June 18, 2015