US-backed YPG holds protest in Syria against bounty on PKK leaders

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published

Members of the PKK-linked People's Protection Units (YPG) held a demonstration in northern Syria's Tal Abyad on Thursday to protest a U.S. decision to place a bounty on top PKK leaders.

The protests clearly contradict Washington's claims that the U.S.-backed YPG does not share any links with the PKK.

The protesters held banners, showing the wanted PKK leaders' photos, at the demonstration in the northern province.

The U.S., in an apparent bid to ease the heightened tensions with Ankara due to Washington's help to the YPG in Syria, recently put a $12 million bounty on three senior PKK leaders: Murat Karayılan, Cemil Bayık and Duran Kalkan.

In its response, Ankara said that it regards Washington's recent moves as an attempt to distinguish and legitimize the YPG's existence in Syria.

Meanwhile, PKK acting leader Murat Karayılan on Tuesday dismissed Washington's decision to a put a combined $12-million bounty on three of its key leaders, saying that the U.S. move had no importance for them.

Up to $5 million was offered for information on the PKK's acting leader Murat Karayılan, $4 million for Cemil Bayık and $3 million for Duran Kalkan.

Also, despite what Washington said, it acknowledges Turkey's concerns over its military cooperation with the PKK-affiliated group in Syria, the YPG terrorists told pro-Kremlin Sputnik International that the U.S. has recently delivered 300 trucks loads of heavy weapons, according to media reports published yesterday. The terrorists also added that the delivery was carried out secretly to avoid any negative reactions from Ankara, signaling the continuation of U.S. help to the terrorist group despite Turkey's warnings.

Earlier this week, Kino Gabriel, the spokesman of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an umbrella group dominated by the YPG, pointed out they have a post-Daesh agreement with the U.S. and coalition in regard to forming civilian assemblies and the reconstruction of the war-ravaged cities. Bassam Said, Washington representative of the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), the political wing of the SDF, said that the U.S. will not abandon its "administration in northern Syria."

Washington's support for the YPG has been facilitating the groups' efforts to form an autonomous region, giving them an opportunity to practically apply its form of governance and form communes as dictated by its ideology. The YPG also tightened its grip on these areas recently by establishing nine committees that are similar to ministries and forming a political entity called the General Council of Self-Administration in Northern and Eastern Syria.

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