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US continuing support for terrorist YPG/PKK in Syria

Turkey has long criticized US support for terrorist YPG/PKK, saying using one terror group to defeat another makes no sense

19.03.2019
US continuing support for terrorist YPG/PKK in Syria

ANKARA  

Despite strenuous objections from Turkey, the proposed U.S. defense budget for 2020 supports the YPG/PKK terrorist group with large amounts of arms and ammunition.

On March 12, the Pentagon announced a total of $300 million would be allocated to the terrorist YPG/PKK from its fiscal year 2020 Defense Department budget.

Turkey has long criticized the U.S. working with and supplying arms and ammunition to the terrorist YPG/PKK, for the ostensible purpose of defeating the terrorist group Daesh. Turkish officials argue that using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.

Moreover, last year the U.S. announced it was withdrawing most of its troops from Syria, arguing that Daesh’s defeat made the deployment unnecessary.

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women and children. The PYD/YPG is its Syrian branch, and it also works under the label SDF.

Turkey has promised to launch a counter-terrorist operation against PYD/YPG forces in Syria, east of the Euphrates.

According to data compiled by Anadolu Agency, the U.S. is also maintaining its support for the terrorist YPG/PKK with heavy guns and materials to make improvised explosive devices (IED).

The budget includes at least 3,000 AK-47 rifles and 2,000 C-4 explosives with 30,000 fuses and 5 million bullets. The ammunition has an estimated worth of nearly $12.5 million.

Under its SDF label, the PYD/YPG often attacks civilians in the northwestern Syrian city of Azaz as well as the cities of Afrin, Al-Bab, Afrin, and Jarabulus from occupied Tal Rifaat. The terrorist group usually uses IEDs.

U.S. Deputy Under Secretary of Defense Elaine McCusker claimed the support for the YPG/PKK was prepared in the light of the updated U.S. strategy.

The budget was drawn up on the basis of information available during the preparation stage, said Lt. Gen. Anthony R. Lerardi, Director for Force Structure, Resources, and Assessment of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff. 

* Writing by Erdogan Cagatay Zontur

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