Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu demanded that a U.S. envoy be removed for allegedly backing the Kurds, but the State Department said Brett McGurk has the “full support” of the Trump administration. “This McGurk is definitely supporting the PKK and YPG. It would be beneficial for this person to change,” he said, accusing the diplomat of carrying on Obama-administration policies.
Turkey has told the United States it will not join in any military operations that include Kurdish fighters in Syria, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday, while vowing to strike the U.S.-backed Kurds if they threaten Turkey’s security.
Speaking in Istanbul two days after meeting President Donald Trump in Washington, Erdogan criticized the U.S. decision to ally with “terror organizations” for the long-awaited operation to capture Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State group.
“We said we would not be in such an operation with you where you ally with terror organizations and so we said good luck,” Erdogan said.
Turkey considers the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, in Syria a terror organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade-long insurgency against the Turkish state.