Slaih Muslim, head of PYD speaking to reporters in Sulaimani, Iraqi Kurdistan. Photo: ARA News
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SULAYMANIYAH – Salih Muslim, head of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) on Wednesday condemned the attacks in Ankara that killed at least 37 civilians last week.
“We condemn the terrorist attacks of Ankara and the use of any forms of violence against civilians,” Muslim said at the Suliforum organized by the American University of Iraq, in Sulaimani city of Iraqi Kurdistan.
“We want all the parties in Turkey to resolve their problems inside Turkey,” Muslim said. “We have no idea who is behind those explosions, and we condemn those terrorist attacks,” he added.
The Turkish government said on Tuesday, that the suicide bomber in Ankara was trained by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG). However, the YPG and Kurdish officials have denied any involvement in attacks in Turkey.
“Some Turkish parties say Rojava [Syria’s Kurdish region] carried out these explosions, but we deny these speculations,” Muslim added.
“Turkey tries to prove to US that PYD and YPG are terrorists to stop support for them,” Kurdish official Idris Nassan from Kobani told ARA News.
“Turkish officials are struggling to convince US leaders that the Kurds are terrorists, and that the Americans have to listen to whatever the Turks say,” he said.
Last week’s bombing in Ankara was the third attack in the capital in recent months. However, the PKK splinter group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK) took responsibility for the previous attack on February 17, killing at least 29, and injuring 61 others.
“Turkey accused the YPG of carrying out the Ankara attack on military positions, but a Turkish Kurdish organization that took responsibility for the attack, uncovered their lies,” he added.
US analysts suggest that the PYD is worried the attacks could hurt their ties with the West.
The United States said it has no information about the bomber being trained in Syria. “I have not seen the reports that this individual crossed the border into Syria and got training. I haven’t seen the ministry of interior’s comments, so I can’t verify the veracity of them,” US State Department spokesperson John Kirby said Tuesday. “We’ve continually called on the PKK to cease attacks against Turkish citizens, to cease terrorism period, but in this case particularly against Turkish citizens,” he added.
“Now there are many groups in Syria that are effective at fighting Daesh [ISIS]. And some of these groups are Kurdish – not all of them, but some of them are,” he also said. “And the support that they get as they prosecute the fight against Daesh continues largely on a military front from the use – the support of air power, coalition air power. That’s really the gist of it.”
“The Ankara bombings were a terrorist attack and the PYD understands that US support for the YPG is unpopular with Turkey,” Nicholas Heras, a Washington-based analyst at the Centre for a New American Security told ARA News.
“The US already has deep concerns about the PYD’s ties to the PKK. The US will not abandon its NATO ally Turkey for the Syrian Kurds if there is strong suspicion of PYD support for terrorism in Turkey,” he added.
“Right now the US is willing to accept its uncertainty about the PYD’s end political goals in Syria in order to move the anti-ISIS campaign forward,” Heras said.
“There is also a hope among US policymakers that constant contact with the Americans will moderate Syrian Kurdish ties to the PKK [Kurdistan Workers Party] in favor of the backing of a super power.”
Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg
Source: ARA News