US Must Stop Supporting Radical Kurdish Groups
U.S. support is based on the misguided position that the PYD is a legitimate Syrian opposition group and that the PYD is not affiliated with the terrorist organization PKK (Kurdistan Worker's Party).
Firstly, Amnesty International recently published a well-documented report that the YPG is massacring Syrian civilians, particularly communities who oppose Assad's brutal regime. The YPG is gerrymandering by massacring under the pretext of fighting ISIS. It should be of no surprise that the PYD has been an ally of Russia, helping Russian troop buildup on NATO ally Turkey's border in support of the Assad regime. Indeed, PYD recently opened an office in Moscow.
Secondly, the U.S. State Department, in consultation with the U.S. Congress, recognizes the PKK as a terrorist organization. Importantly, the National Counter Terrorism Center (NCTC), a division of the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), considers PYD to be the Syrian affiliate of the PKK terrorist organization. Indeed, ODNI agrees with Turkey's position that the PKK and YPG are terrorist affiliates. ODNI's position invalidates the U.S. State Department's position that YPG is not affiliated with the PKK. The State Department should correct its position.
Since 1984, the PKK has been waging a terrorist war in Turkey, and is responsible for more than 45,000 deaths. Such acts have increased recently, targeting mainly urban areas, e.g., the two deadly Ankara suicide attacks of February 17 and March 13 that killed collectively 66 people and injured more than 160. These massacres were carried out by the PYD-YPG-PKK terror trio. As many as 400 Turkish security forces have lost their lives since June due to terror attacks. While defending against the PYD-PKK-YPG inside its borders, Turkey is defending against YPG and ISIS in Syria. Importantly, Turkey continues to have productive relations with moderate Kurdish groups in northern Iraq that do not support the PYD.
Another aspect of the humanitarian crisis surrounding Syria is of course Turkey's hosting of nearly 3 million refugees from Syria and Iraq. The European Union continues to be averse to accepting these refugees, and is trying to negotiate to send some of these refugees back to Turkey.
The U.S. Administration's support of Kurdish factions in Syria is dangerous, as it encourages terrorism across the border in Turkey - a strong NATO ally - and jeopardizes USA's and NATO's interests. The U.S. should not support the PYD-YPG-PKK terror trio."
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