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Erdogan slams US after visit to Kurdish Kobane

by Our Foreign Desk

TURKISH President Recep Tayyip Erdogan criticised his US ally yesterday after its anti-Isis envoy Brett McGurk paid visited the northern Syrian town of Kobane.

Kobane is under the control of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG), which fought with US air support to prevent the town’s capture by Isis last year.

Mr Erdogan wants the US and the European Union to list the PYD and YPG as terrorist organisations because of their close links with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is already so designated.

“How can we trust you? Am I your partner or the terrorists in Kobane?” he asked the US.

“Do you accept the PKK as a terrorist organisation? Then why don’t you list the PYD and YPG as terrorist organisations too?”

The calls from Mr Erdogan and other senior Turkish leaders reflect a split between Ankara and its allies over how to treat the Syrian Kurdish party and its armed wing.

The YPG has been a reliable fighter against Isis and has benefited from US arms supplies on several occasions while the Erdogan government has assisted Isis and other jihadist groups.

During his visit to Kobane, Mr McGurk met with senior PYD and YPG officials and pledged further support for Syrian Kurds.

He also visited a cemetery to pay his respects to YPG fighters killed during the months-long battle for the town.


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