Feb 27 2018

U.S. reliance on Kurds proven wrong – Erdoğan adviser

The United States is being proven wrong that it can keep a foothold in Syria by relying on an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), said Ilnur Çevik, a senior adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“The sooner they realise they are making a gross mistake the better,” Çevik said in a column for the Daily Sabah newspaper. “Turkey is the only way out for the U.S. in Syria.”

Half of the militia of the People’s Protection Forces (YPG) have left the front line against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria’s east after Turkey launched an operation in Afrin, he said.

“Now the U.S. is learning the hard way that the YPG is unreliable and will not serve their interests.”

The YPG is also forcing people to stay in their villages as Turkish troops and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) capture them. Many have tried to leave the city of Afrin, but the YPG is forcing them to stay, Çevik said.

“The PKK's cruelty is notorious, even if the U.S. generals have failed to see this,” Çevik said. “The YPG tied the hands of four elderly Syrians in a village in Afrin, booby trapped them and wanted to use them as bait to kill Turkish soldiers. The soldiers noticed the booby traps and the explosives, defused the bombs and foiled the plot. This is how low the PKK is.”

Turkey launched an operation into Afrin, a Kurdish-controlled enclave in Syria’s northwest, on Jan. 20 to battle the YPG, which it says is indistinguishable from the PKK, who are autonomy-seeking militants in Turkey recognized as terrorists by the United States and European Union.

The YPG, part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has proven one of the most effective fighting forces against ISIS in Syria.