The YPG is softening up al-Raqqa for invasion and also feathering the nest of Kurdish Syrian nationalism.
On Tuesday, according to BBC Monitoring, the Turkish state-funded news agency Anadolu (also known as Anatolia) put on its website in Turkish remarks of Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, who slammed ‘the United States for cooperating with the PYD [Democratic Union Party] on the pretext that Al-Raqqa was going to be seized by regime forces.”
He said that US and Turkish special ops forces would be better placed than the Kurdish YPG to close the smuggling gap from which Daesh profits.
BBC Monitoring translates the Anadolu report: “Criticizing the United States for collaborating with the PYD on the pretext that Al-Raqqa was going to be seized by the Syrian regime forces, Cavusoglu it was never right or humanitarian to collaborate with another terrorist organization. Stating that the PYD’s goal was to partition Syria by seizing more land, Cavusoglu said: “In that respect America is unfortunately embarking on a process with the PYD that is very dangerous for Syria’s future. We already warned them. Yet, if we were to join forces; they have their special forces and we have our special forces, but unfortunately both the United States and Russia see a terrorist organization as a partner and they are supporting it. This is what we are objecting to . . .”
If Manbaj soon falls, as seems likely, Turkey will face the fait accompli of a new Kurdish mini-state on its border. Ankara is obviously furious at the US, which is urging the Kurds on. Despite Turkish oral offers of assistance, the US Pentagon has clearly decided that the YPG Kurds are the only game in town if the goal is to defeat Daesh in its lair of al-Raqqa. There are likely to be long-term repercussions for the US-Turkish relationship, on both sides, of these dramatic events.
The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed severe misgivings over the Pentagon’s cooperation with the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Unit (YPG), a group Ankara views as a terrorist organization. Photos that emerged last week showed US Special Forces operating with the YPG insignia.