The Syrian envoy to the U.N. said on Tuesday that the PKK's Syrian affiliate, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), enjoys the support of not just the U.S. but also the Assad regime.
"These Syrian Kurds supported by the American administration are also supported by the Syrian government," Bashar Ja'afari told reporters, following a closed-door U.N. Security Council meeting to discuss Turkey's recent shelling of PYD targets in northern Syria. The session, following which no action was taken, was held at the request of Russia.
"The victory achieved in the northern part of Syria, both by the Syrian army and the Syrian Kurds, is a joint victory for all Syrians. Everybody is benefiting from the Syrian army's direct support," Ja'afari said.
A recent row between Turkey and the U.S. – longtime NATO allies – centers on Washington's objection to describing the PYD as a terrorist group. Ja'afari's statement marks one of first direct acknowledgement by the Syrian regime of its cooperation with the PYD.
On Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan urged the international community to recognize the Syrian Kurdish group PYD as a terrorist organization. In a news conference with Yemeni President Mansour Hadi in Ankara, Erdoğan said those who recognized the PKK and DAESH as terrorist organizations, should also list the PYD and their armed wing, the YPG, as terror groups as well. "Both the PYD and the YPG are the organizations of the Assad regime," Erdoğan said, adding that the West should "understand that there is no difference between the PYD, PKK, DAESH or DHKP-C."
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu said on Tuesday during a weekly group meeting of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) in Ankara that the PYD are "mercenaries" for Russia and acting as a "terror group" in the region, as well as DAESH. Davutoğlu said: "The PYD do not represent Kurds, but rather Russia's mercenaries. The PYD is Russia's puppet and commits countless massacres on behalf of Russia and the regime of [Syrian leader Bashar] Assad."
The PYD and YPG are affiliated with the PKK, which has been fighting a terrorist insurgency against Turkey since 1984 and is recognized as a terror organization by both the EU and the U.S. The DHKP-C is a far-left terror group, designated as terrorists by Turkey as well as Western governments.