Washington’s relationship with YPG tactical, says U.S. official

A top-level U.S. official has said that Washington’s relationship with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria is ‘’temporary and tactical,’’ pro-government NTV news channel reported.

The statement from the official, whose name was not released, arrives as U.S and Turkish forces conduct their second round of joint patrols in Syria’s northern province of Manbij, held by the YPG.

U.S. troops have armed and trained YPG fighters who make up the bulk of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that has pushed Islamic State (ISIS) out of most of northern Syria.

Turkey, however, sees the YPG as part of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) that has been fighting for self-rule inside Turkey for more than 30 years. While the YPG denies being part of the PKK, both groups share the same democratic confederalist ideology and are part of the same umbrella organisation.

‘’It’s a great success that the patrols have begun… They are a natural part of our Syria strategy,’’ NTV quoted the official as saying.

While Turkey’s concerns regarding the partnership between the United States and the YPG is understandable, the official said, Washington would not allow for a state to be formed within Syria, in an apparent reference to a Kurdish state.

The U.S. decision to offer a reward for three of the PKK’s top officials was made to ‘’respond to Turkey’s concerns,’’ regarding Washington’s support for Ankara’s fight against terror in the region,  the official added.

The U.S. Department of State announced on Nov. 6 that it was offering up to $12 million for information leading to the locations of Murat Karayılan, Cemîl Bayik and Duran Kalkan - three are senior members of the PKK.