Why will Turkey not allow the Syrian Kurds to fight ISIS?
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has been facing increasing pressure to do more to support the Syrian Kurdish YPG and the Kurdish rebels, who have fought for an independent state in Syria for more than two decades.
The U.S., which has supported the Syrian rebels, has also criticized Erdogan for not providing them with the weaponry they need to defend themselves.
Turkey has been pushing for more help from the U.N. and the United States to defeat the Islamic State, which controls large swaths of Syria and Iraq.
Erdogan has said that his government will fight the Islamic state without relying on Russia.
But the Turkish president has also said that he would prefer to have Kurdish militias fighting against the Islamic group.
Erdogan also has said he would like to have U. S.-led forces in the region.
“There are many reasons why I do not want them to join,” Erdogan said in a speech to the National Press Club in Ankara on Tuesday.
“But if there are no U. n. support for the Kurdish fighters, the fight against the jihadists will become impossible.
There is no way to make the U,S.
go along with this.”
The U.K.-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the Syrian conflict through a network of activists, said that Erdogan’s comments are consistent with his previous comments on Kurdish fighters.
“We are waiting for Erdogan’s answer,” said the Britain-based group, which is based in the UK.
“Erdogan’s comments about the Kurdish YPG were also very much a continuation of his previous statements, in which he said that Turkey would not take part in the fight,” said Ali Aboul Gheit, head of the Uyghur Studies Programme at the University of British Columbia.
Gheit said Erdogan has not made clear why Turkey would oppose the Kurdish forces, but the Us support of the YPG has been clear.
“It is not that Erdogan doesn’t want to see a Kurdish-led state in the area, but that he doesn’t believe in its legitimacy,” he said.
“Turkey is a member of the international coalition against the (Islamic State) and wants to see the Syrian army win this war.”
The United States has also been supporting the YPG, although it is not clear what support Erdogan is giving them.
The Pentagon has said it is considering providing arms to the Syrian Democratic Forces, which include Syrian Kurds.
The United Arab Emirates has also voiced support for Kurdish fighters in Syria.
“We believe that the SDF should be given the most necessary support and assistance to protect civilians in the areas they are fighting,” the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in November.
In August, the United Nations Security Council passed a resolution urging Turkey to join the international anti-IS coalition, which was expected to include Syria and Russia.
But Erdogan said that “Turkey cannot be part of the coalition.”
Turkey is part of a coalition against ISIS.
The Uygyur and Yezidi people are the largest ethnic group in Turkey, with some 800,000 people.
They are descendants of ancient empires that were conquered by the Mongols.
The Turkish government has said the YPG and other Kurdish fighters are not part of that empire.