Recep Tayyip Erdogan rettet denne uken flengende kritikk mot USA fordi det ikke vil klassifisere kurdisk YPG-milits som terrorister, selv om det er disse som har slåss mest effektivt mot IS.
Dere må velge, sa Erdogan: Oss eller terroristene.
«I told you many times: Are you with us or with this terrorist organization?» a fiery Erdogan told a gathering of village leaders, according to Turkish state media.
YPG er den militære gren til partiet PYD som er alliert med PKK i Tyrkia, Erdogans fiende. USAs utsending mht til kampen mot IS, Brett McGurk, var denne uken i Kobani i Syria og snakket med PYD-ledere. Ankara ble rasende.
The YPG, a Kurdish group of some 30,000 fighters, has been among the most successful in taking the fight to the group that calls itself the Islamic State. It’s done so with help from a U.S.-led coalition and despite the fact that Turkey labels it a terrorist group. That’s because the YPG is the military arm of the Democratic Union Party (a.k.a. PYD), a large and well-organized Kurdish opposition party within Syria that’s seen as an affiliate of Turkey’s own Kurdistan Workers’ Party.
Tyrkias ene mål i Syria er å hindre at kurdernes sak styrkes. Hvis kurderne gjennom sin kamp gjør seg fortjent til å sitte rundt bordet for fredsforhandlinger, vil det være som å ta gift for Tyrkia.
Much to Turkey’s chagrin, the PYD could be invited to take park in ongoing Syria peace talks. And on Monday, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby — after first expressing gratitude for Turkey’s contributions in the battle against ISIS — said that the United States does not «recognize the PYD as a terrorist organization» and will not back away from America’s support for the Kurdish group’s fighters in Syria.
«We recognize that the Turks do (label the PYD as terrorists), and I understand that. Even the best of friends aren’t going to agree on everything,» Kirby said. «Kurdish fighters have been some of the most successful in going after Daesh (ISIS) inside Syria. We have provided a measure of support, mostly through the air, and that support will continue.»
Even before Erdogan spoke, Kirby’s remarks were met with anger in Ankara. Turkey summoned U.S. Ambassador John Bass to its own Foreign Ministry in response, according to a report from Turkey’s semi-official Anadolu news agency.
Erdogans retorikk og personlige har blitt stadig mer grovkornet. Han kvier seg ikke for å sjikanere en alliert i full offentlighet, og spør om USA virkelig er en venn.
Erdogan suggested he’s not sure after U.S. President Barack Obama’s envoy on ISIS, Brett McGurk, met with PYD leaders in Kobani, Syria.
«How will we ever be able trust you?» the Turkish leader said Wednesday about the U.S. government, according to state broadcaster TRT. «Am I your regional partner or are the terrorists in Kobani?»
He appeared particularly irked about this meeting and about Kirby’s comments, which came despite the fact Ankara has «warned the U.S. many times» about Kurdish groups that, Erdogan said, couldn’t be relied on to shed their violent, terrorist ways.
«They do not say anything to our faces, but they make different statements elsewhere,» Erdogan said about U.S. officials. «It is not possible to understand what type of partnership this is.»