A former U.S. ambassador to Syria has criticized the White House's "ridiculous" policy on the war-torn state. Robert Ford, who was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2010, a year before the conflict broke out, said contradictions in Washington's approach has exposed the government's "hypocrisy." The war in Syria has been one of Obama's most contentious foreign policy issues, with the U.S. torn over how to address the atrocities committed by the regime of Bashar Assad while at the same time attempting to effectively combat DAESH. This has led to the U.S. supporting elements such as the Democratic Union Party (PYD), the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization, alienating NATO ally Turkey.
"The American government finds itself in the ridiculous situation of saying that because of some al-Nusra elements in Aleppo city, it's OK for the Syrian government to attack Aleppo," he told Anadolu Agency, referring to al-Qaeda's Syrian offshoot. "This has made a completely ridiculous position."
One key feature of Obama's Syria policy has been its efforts to provide training and supplies to "moderate" opposition groups. Ford said the administration avoided supporting groups fighting the Assad regime that were seen as "Islamist" by the West because of their potential ties to groups such as Jubhat al-Nusra, otherwise known as the Nusra Front.
However, by supporting the PYD's military wing, the People's Protection Units (YPG), the U.S. is backing a group listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey because of its ties to the PKK, which has been at war with the Turkish state since 1984. "I think the American policy is not consistent - it is inconsistent and hypocritical," said Ford, who previously served as ambassador to Algeria. "I cannot understand how it is possible for Americans to give weapons and material supplies to the YPG militia. They have ties to the PKK. I do not know how the American lawyers justify that."
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