On Tuesday, following the US Defense Department’s announcement that President Donald Trump approved a plan to arm YPG, the Syrian Kurdish PYD party’s affiliate, fighting ISIS terrorists in Syria, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis ensured his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik over phone of the US commitment to prevent security risks for Turkey.
“It was an expected decision because the Kurds are the only kind of local force on the ground that can fight ISIS in Raqqa … We support the US decision and consider that providing arms to Kurds in Syria will help to liberate Raqqa and the peace settlement in Syria,” Ozsoy said.
Ozsoy expressed HDP stance that Turkey should change this perception of Syrian Kurds as threat for the national security which was the reason of disagreement with the US decision on providing arms to YPG.
“Turkey, unfortunately, perceives the Kurds wherever they are as a national security threat and that is why it will object the American decision to supply the Kurds with arms … Turkey needs to face the reality as it is the reality that the Kurds are there and defending their own country from the ISIS. We can only hope and expect that Turkey will change its position,” Ozsoy added.
He noted that official Ankara’s position toward the Syrian Kurds was counterproductive and a shift in attitude would allow Turkey to see them as potential allies and partners.
In its turn, Ankara strongly opposes any plan that would see Kurdish fighters taking over Raqqa.
Meanwhile, Ozturk Yilmaz, the Turkish opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) deputy chair responsible for foreign relations said that US decision will only increase Middle East tensions as these weapons can be used against Turkey.