The United States will continue to play a role in Syria to fight Daesh and build infrastructure, Ilham Ahmed, one of the ringleaders of the PKK terrorist group’s Syrian wing, the YPG, said on Thursday, underlining that Washington showed clear commitment.
After meetings in Washington with representatives of the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon, Ahmed told Reuters: "They promised to do whatever it takes to destroy the Islamic State and work to build infrastructure in northeastern Syria."
"They said they are going to stay in Syria and will not withdraw – they will keep fighting Islamic State," Ahmed said, using an alternate name for Daesh. "Before they were unclear under (former President Donald) Trump and during the Afghan withdrawal, but this time they made everything clear."
The PKK is a designated terrorist organization in the U.S., Turkey and the European Union, and Washington's support for its Syrian affiliate has been a major strain on bilateral relations with Ankara.
The U.S. primarily partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group. On the other hand, Turkey strongly opposed the YPG's presence in northern Syria. Ankara has long objected to the U.S.' support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Turkey and that terrorizes local people, destroying their homes and forcing them to flee.
Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the U.S. has provided military training and given truckloads of military support to the YPG, despite its NATO ally's security concerns. Underlining that one cannot support one terrorist group to defeat another, Turkey conducted its own counterterrorism operations, over the course of which it has managed to remove a significant number of terrorists from the region.