Dec 05 2017

White House wants Kurds to be part of Syrian national army, Turkish opposition deputy says

The Turkish main opposition CHP’s deputy for foreign affairs Öztürk Yılmaz met with the White House’s Europe and Turkey directors, Voice of America reported.

The White House wants the People's Protection Units (YPG), the U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters in Northern Syria, to be part of the Syrian national army, Yılmaz was quoted as saying.

“[White House] is searching for a solution that will not cause discomfort for Turkey... They know that if the PYD/YPG [the political and armed wings of the Syrian Kurdish organisation] remain a power like Peshmerga, Turkey won’t be at ease.”

The U.S. administration is seeking ways to mend its bilateral relationship with Turkey by involving the Turkish opposition in the conversation.

Yılmaz said they noted the United States’ concerns about Turkey’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defence system, and the issue with the jailed U.S. pastor and consulate workers in Turkey.

“We also raised our concerns regarding plans to announce Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.” Yılmaz was quoted as saying.

On the New York trial of former Halkbank official, Yılmaz quoted White House officials saying “We are not involved with the case, and we cannot be.”