The United States is unlikely to abandon the Syrian Kurds, Washington’s primary ally in the anti-Daesh campaign, despite President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s efforts to convince President Donald Trump to review the issue, political commentator Hilal Koylu told.
“Erdogan has openly said that any talks with the YPG are unacceptable for Turkey. The question then is whether Trump would continue dialogue with the Syrian Kurds [despite Ankara’s opposition]. We can answer in the affirmative since the Trump administration has been crystal clear on what its priority goals in the region are. This has been confirmed by Turkish and American diplomats, as well as military sources. The United States has achieved the most in its anti-Daesh efforts by working with the YPG. This is why the US will not stop supporting the Kurds,” she explained.
Washington’s close cooperation with the Kurds, particularly the People’s Protection Units (YPG), has been a major concern for Ankara since it views any groups affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as terrorist organizations. The issue has been a major point of contention plaguing the already strained bilateral relationship.
Erdogan was determined to discuss the matter during a meeting with Donald Trump. The two leaders apparently did not reach a consensus on the issue during Tuesday’s encounter which lasted only 20 minutes.
“It should be noted that Ankara has been fiercely opposed to improving relations with the Kurds to promote counterterrorism activities in the region due to concerns that this could fuel unrest at home and lead to Turkey disintegrating. At the same time, the US and Russia have said that ignoring the Kurdish factor is an unsound strategy. I think that Ankara should listen to them. There was a time when the ruling Justice and Development Party managed to open dialogue with the Kurds. However, this dialogue later turned into an open confrontation, affecting the situation in the region. Turkish diplomats have increasingly urged Ankara to review its stance on the Kurds. It is likely that the Erdogan government will soon have to address the issue of how Turkey could maintain cooperation with the Kurds and whether it is at all possible,” she concluded.