Monday, May 15, 2017

Russia says it will keep YPG ties despite Turkish objection

Russia considers it right to maintain working contacts with Kurdish groups in Syria despite Turkey’s objections, as they are “fighting against terrorists,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said on May 15.

“As the Kurdish factor is a real factor in the situation in Syria and Kurdish armed formations are taking part in combat operations against ISIL and are among the most combat efficient units, we consider it right to maintain working contacts with them, even at least for avoiding possible collisions and situations that could create threats to our servicemen,” the Russian leader said in Beijing.

When asked whether Russia supplies the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) with arms, Putin said that Moscow, “unlike the U.S. doesn’t do that.”

Ankara considers the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, the YPG, as terrorist groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and has long pressed the U.S., and recentlşy Russia, to stop its alliance with the group in the fight against the Islic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

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