The United States does not consider Syrian Kurdish forces of the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) a terrorist organization, State Department Spokesperson John Kirby has declared.
“We don’t consider the YPG a terrorist organization, and they have proven successful against ISIL [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] inside Syria. And as I said, we’re going to continue to work with counter-ISIL fighters who are and can be successful against this group, and they’re not all Kurds,” Kirby said at a press conference in Washington, while responding to a question on the gap between the Turkish and the U.S. stance against the group.
“We understand that the Turkish government has concerns about the YPG. We continue to talk to them and engage them. We continue to be appreciative of the support that Turkey is making to the coalition and to direct kinetic activity against ISIL,” Kirby said.
The spokesperson added that the U.S.-ed coalition has come together for a common goal.
“You do not have to agree on every issue; and you bring to the fight what you can, where you can, and when you can. And that’s how we’re managing this very important struggle.”
Turkish officials have repeatedly raised concerns about the YPG’s ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), but also said the group was not a target unless it targets Turkey.
Kirby also referred to U.S. concerns over Russia’s recent steps to expand its military presence in Syria.
“Although Russia has said it is boosting its military aid to Syria, the U.S. does not know if these statements are true,” Kirby said.
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