Turkey blocks NATO’s plans for eastern Europe over Kurdish militants’ status
Turkey blocked the implementation of NATO's new defence plans for eastern Europe over the alliance's refusal to recognise Syrian Kurdish militants as terrorists, German press agency DPA said on Monday.
Ankara will only agree to NATO’s initiative if its members demonstrate stronger support for Turkey’s national interests, DPA said. For example, Turkey has demanded that the Syrian Kurdish groups be classified as terrorist organisations, a request that several allies have rejected, it reported.
NATO members are seeking formal approval by all 29 members of the alliance for the military plan to defend Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in the event of a Russian attack, especially after Russia's annexation of Crimea in 2014, the news agency said.
Turkey views the People's Protection Units (YPG), which has provided the backbone of a U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, as a terrorist group due to its links to Kurdish insurgents in southeast Turkey.
Turkey has launched four major military operations with allied Syrian Islamist militant groups since 2016 against YPG-controlled territories in Syria’s north.