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Turkish FM slams US for 'two-faced' behavior

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Armed men in uniform identified by Syrian Democratic Forces as US special operations forces ride in the back of a pickup truck in the village of Fatisah in the northern Syrian province of Raqqah on May 25, 2016. (AFP)

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu slammed the United States Friday for its "two-faced" behavior, saying it is "unacceptable" that US soldiers are backing Kurdish fighters in Syria.

A group of US soldiers are said to be operating alongside members of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Daesh alliance of Arab, Assyrian, Armenian, Turkmen, and mostly Kurdish fighters belonging to the People's Protection Units, also known as the YPG.

The YPG has been engaged in battle with Daesh for months, shutting down their supply routes from Turkey into Syria near Raqqah, which is the de facto capital of the terrorist group.

Turkey accuses the YPG of being linked to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, which has been engaged in a three-decade fight for autonomy in Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast.

Ankara and Washington both consider the PKK as a terrorist organization.

“If they say 'We don't see the YPG and these terrorist groups as the same', my answer is, that is a double standard and two-faced,” the Turkish foreign minister stated at a UN summit in Antalya.

“It is unacceptable for US soldiers to use the insignia of the YPG, a terrorist group.”

Washington had earlier announced its participation with other forces in the liberation of Raqqah, but this is the first time images have emerged apparently showing US troops wearing the YPG insignia.

Armed men identified by Syrian Democratic Forces as US special operations forces are seen in the village of Fatisah in Raqqah Province, May 25, 2016. (AFP Photo)

Ankara had raised the issue with the US State Department.

Asked at a briefing on Thursday if it was appropriate to wear such insignia, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook declined to comment on the photos but said that when special forces operate in some areas, they do what they can to blend in with the community to enhance their own security.

The United States does not consider the YPG to be a terrorist group.


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