Ahmet Berat Çonkar, the head of the Turkish delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, has called on the U.S. to reverse its decision to form a border army along the Syrian border, stressing that the move will pose threats to both Turkey and NATO. "It is obvious that the continuation of cooperation with the PYD/YPG and in this framework the creation of a so called ‘Syrian Border Security Force' under the PYD/YPG command which is in contradiction with the commitments and statements of the U.S. will constitute a threat to the national security of our country and consequently to NATO," Çonkar said in a written statement on Jan. 16.
Turkey has sternly warned its NATO ally, the U.S., against forming a border army that consists of YPG fighters along the Syrian border and reiterated that Turkey will fight against any terrorists groups posing threats to the national security of the country.In relation to the issue, Çonkar said that the decision makers should immediately reverse their decision before relations between the U.S. and Turkey are harmed irreparably.
Underlining that Turkey was not consulted for the decision as a member of the coalition, Çonkar said: "It is understood that the U.S. aims to make the PYD/YPG, an extension of the PKK, a permanent actor in the region. This suggests that the discourse our counterparts in the U.S. has been using which claimed that cooperation with the PYD/YPG was meant to be only in the framework of the fight against Daesh and that it would be concluded after the fight against Daesh has ended was not sincere."Meanwhile, NATO's Deputy Secretary General Rose Gottemoeller is set to visit Turkey next week. The visit comes after President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday called on NATO to fulfill its responsibilities to member states against external terrorist threats on their borders.
"You [NATO] are obliged to take a stand against those who harass the borders of one of your partners," the president said, referring to the controversial U.S. decision to form a 30,000-strong border security force in northern Syria, planned to be mainly consist of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which are predominantly led by the PKK terrorist organization's Syria affiliate Democratic Union Party's (PYD) armed wing the People's Protection Units (YPG).
Upon the criticism from Turkey, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said late Tuesday that the organization was not consulted before Washington announced its plans to form an army. "We understand Turkey's concerns regarding the matter," Stoltenberg told President Erdoğan in a phone call.