President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has vowed to clear the PKK and its Syrian affiliates from Syria sooner or later and criticized Washington for its support to the terrorist group. "How can we consider the country as an ally, which 'respects our sensibilities,' when it comes to words, but betrays Turkey by ignoring its national security on the ground?" the president asked yesterday during a parliamentary group meeting of the Justice and Development Party (AK Party). Erdoğan was of course referring to the U.S.'s long-running weapons deliveries to the PKK's Syrian offshoot, the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG).
"If not today, we will annihilate the Syrian extensions of the terrorist group sooner or later. We will not stand idle watching them attempt to establish a terrorist state near our borders," President Erdoğan said.
Ankara strongly disagrees with Washington for backing the YPG in the war against Daesh in Syria and the issue was regarded as one of the main reasons underlying the strained bilateral ties between the two NATO allies.
While the U.S. insists that supporting the YPG is the only option for defeating Daesh, Ankara has maintained that an alternative can be found with local Arab tribes backed by countries in the region instead of supporting and arming one terrorist group against another.
Turkey has also said the two countries can carry out a joint operation in Raqqa, before the YPG-led offensive had started, but the offer was neglected by Washington.
Erdoğan also recalled statements of former spokesman of the Syrian Domestic Forces (SDF), Talal Silo, who defected to the Turkish-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) in northern Syria, suggesting that the SDF and the U.S. allowed Daesh terrorists to escape on three separate occasions.
"A prominent PYD/YPG member, who recently defected to our country, evidently expressed what U.S. did to protect and flourish this terrorist group. Yet, we already knew this information with images," he said.
Silo told Anadolu Agency in an interview that the SDF was actually founded as a cover for the U.S. arms aid to the YPG, adding that the United States did not monitor the provided weapons. Silo confirmed that the name change was initiated by U.S. Gen. Raymond Thomas, underlining that the group was actually under full control of the YPG.
Erdoğan also asserted that Daesh militants who were evacuated from Raqqa as a part of the YPG-Daesh deal, the U.S.-supervised secret agreement that was exposed by BBC last month, will be "hired" in the Sinai region of Egypt.