1 Mai 2017 – MESOP – Ankara is gravely concerned by photos of U.S. soldiers attending the funerals of Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militants in the wake of Turkish air strikes on the two groups, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said. “We may come [to strike the YPG] overnight, all of a sudden without warning,” Erdogan told reporters at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport before leaving for a two-day visit to India. “We are seriously concerned to see U.S. flags in a convoy that has YPG rags on it. We will mention these issues to President [Donald Trump] during our visit to the United States on May 16,” he added. Erdogan was asked about photos said to show U.S. soldiers patrolling along the Turkish border and attending the funerals of the YPG militants apparently killed in Turkish air strikes.
“If we are against global terrorism, then we need to tell them [U.S.] about these issues. If we do not work together against terrorism, then tomorrow it will strike at another ally,” he added. Erdogan vowed that Turkey will continue operations against the PKK and the YPG, similar to strikes earlier this week on Mt. Shingal in northern Iraq and Syria’s Mt. Karacok, Hurriyet daily reported. Forty militants were killed at Iraq’s Mt. Shingal and another 49 at Syria’s Mt. Karacok in April 25 airstrikes by Turkish forces against the PKK, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), and its armed wing the YPG. U.S. troops have been seen patrolling the tense border since the Turkish strikes.More U.S. troops were seen on April in armored vehicles in Syria in the YPG-controlled areas. PYD officials describe the U.S. troop movement as “buffer” between them and Turkey. Erdogan is due in Washington on May 16 for his first meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump. www.mesop.de