The U.S. has set up around 20 military bases in Syria on territory controlled by the PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG), an official from Russia's Security Council said yesterday, the RIA news agency reported. "The return of peace and stability in Syria is hampered by the continuing external interference. For example, about 20 U.S. military bases have been established on the territory controlled by the self-defense forces of Kurdistan [YPG]," Alexander Venediktov, said, an aide to Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev.
He added that Washington was supplying the YPG with the most advanced weapons. Previously, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said that the U.S. has 13 military bases in YPG-controlled areas, slamming the country's continuous support for the terrorist group. "They brought in 3,500 truckloads of armored vehicles, weapons, tanks, et cetera, and have 13 military bases, including five air bases. Now they are also establishing a new military base in Raqqa. They are distributing all the weapons, equipment and vehicles in these areas. When this is the actual situation, how convincing is it for the U.S. to say 'I am not involved in this business, I am just watching it, monitoring it from the air'?" Erdoğan said on Nov. 13 in Doha during an official visit to Qatar.
The YPG, under the umbrella group of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), has been heavily armed and equipped by the U.S. as part of the fight against Daesh. The U.S. has continued to call the group its partner despite Turkey arguing against fighting one terrorist group with another, referring to the PKK's Syrian affiliate. Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union list the PKK as a terrorist group, but Washington and Turkey's other Western allies have ignored the organic links between the PKK and the YPG by not listing it as a terrorist group.
Meanwhile, spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition against Daesh Col. Ryan Dillon shared a photo on the coalition's official Twitter page, where YPG terrorists, mentioned as "students" by Dillon, were seen attending counter explosives training organized by U.S. forces. "Students from SDF attend basic counter improvised explosive device course. Trainees sweep through dirt, exposing fake IEDs, & learn to dismantle/reduce threats. @CJTFOIR training enhances partner capacity, focusing on improving security capabilities," the tweet read.