Washington arming Syrian Kurdish fighters

US President Donald Trump on Tuesday gave a green light for more weapons to be delivered to the Syrian Kurdish YPG, which is widely seen as the key force in the fight for the IS stronghold Raqqa. Ankara has protested against US support for the fighters, who have close ties with the PKK. Turkey is being further sidelined in the region, some commentators believe, while pro-government Turkish media criticise the US for supporting terrorists.

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The Independent (GB) /

A major blow for Turkey

The US government's consolidation of its alliance with the Syrian Kurds weakens Ankara's strategic position in the region, The Independent comments:

“Turkey has offered its services to the US as an ally capable of replacing the YPG in the battle against Isis, this always looked a dubious option. It has long been obvious that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is more interested in targeting the Kurds than in fighting Isis. ... The public decision by Mr Trump to send heavier weapons to the YPG is important primarily as a sign that the US is ignoring Turkish threats and will stick to its military alliance with the Syrian Kurds, which has served it well. This makes it difficult for the Turkish army and air force to escalate its attacks on the YPG.”

Daily Sabah (TR) /

US teaming up with terrorists

In arming the YPG the US is supporting terrorists, Daily Sabah writes in outrage:

“As is already known, and as a top US commander has mistakenly let slip, the YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed PKK, which is responsible for thousands of civilian deaths in Turkey. ... Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said the following words on Tuesday: 'We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey. We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the US is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.' This statement by the Pentagon, which points out that the YPG is the only military force that could recapture Raqqa from Daesh, affirms the fact that Washington has yielded to secular versions of the radical militants who organized the 9/11 attacks. It undermines the prestige of the U.S. for it to vouch for terrorists.”