Kurdish Twitter was aflutter Aug. 2 with claims that a US military delegation had met with members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), a State Department-designated terrorist organization, at their headquarters in the Qandil mountains separating Iraq from Iran.
According to one version of the story, a convoy carrying the US forces made its way under US air cover to the mountain range. The Americans told the PKK that it would need to remove itself from northeastern Syria and stop meddling in its affairs. In return, the United States would help its Syrian Kurdish allies consolidate their autonomy project.
US officials swiftly denied any assignation with the PKK had taken place. A State Department spokesperson said no such meeting with PKK representatives occurred, telling Al-Monitor via email, “There is absolutely no truth to this claim”.
A representative for US Special Operations Command referred Al-Monitor to US Central Command, a spokesperson for which said CENTCOM was “not involved in nor is aware of any such meetings” involving the Kurdish guerillas.
A senior US official told Al-Monitor that it was very unlikely that a delegation met with PKK representatives, but did not rule out the possibility that a military team could have visited the area. Well-informed sources speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the topic said that a team of US special operations forces had gone not to hold talks with the PKK but to inspect sites damaged in Turkish airstrikes in the village of Zergele in the Qandil mountains.
Read more: Al-Monitor