Turkey summons US envoy over military training to YPG in Syria

ANKARA – Turkey summoned Jan. 10 the charge d’affairs of the United States Embassy, Philip Kosnett, in Ankara over reports that U.S. troops started training the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, a development that can further strain ties between the two allies.Turkey’s move came a day after news broke that U.S. troops begun to provide military training to some 400 YPG members in a move to create a new force to guard the border between Turkey and Syria, Turkish diplomatic sources told the HUIrriyet Daily News.

Turkey has long been slamming the U.S. for allying with the YPG, a group Ankara considers a terror organization because of its links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).It accuses Washington of continuing to provide heavy weapons to the YPG although the war on terror comes almost to an end and calls it to end the deployment and to start to take back weapons already given to the group.

In a telephone conversation with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, U.S. President Donald Trump assured the Turkish government that he will instruct Pentagon to stop delivering weapons to the group.There are, however, reports that the partnership between the U.S. and the YPG still continues and that the former assists the latter to form a new force to control the Turkish-Syrian border.