Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says Pentagon ignoring president on arming of PKK/PYD.
“U.S. President Trump told our president [Recep Tayyip Erdogan] on the phone that ‘from now on no arms will be given to YPG’,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, using an alternative acronym for the PKK/PYD.
He added: “We do not interfere in the U.S.’s internal affairs but if the Pentagon is not listening to its own president, then it ultimately concerns us because the weapons given them are a threat to us.”
Last May, Trump announced that the U.S. would start supplying weapons to the PKK/PYD, despite Turkey’s protests, as the anti-Daesh coalition prepared to seize Raqqah.
In a telephone conversation with Erdogan last Friday, the U.S. leader promised to halt arms supplies to the PKK/PYD, the Syrian branch of the PKK, which has waged a terror campaign against Turkey since 1984.
However, the Pentagon later said the U.S. was merely “reviewing pending adjustments to the military support provided to our Kurdish partners”.
Spokesman Eric Pahon said the U.S. would “continue our partnership with the Syrian Democratic Forces [SDF]”.
The SDF is largely made up of PKK/PYD terrorists who have been supported by the U.S. against Daesh in Syria.
Cavusoglu said the words of the president should be heeded. “As Turkey, we give great importance to this,” he said. “We keep every promise we make.”
The minister added that Turkey would not hesitate to enter Syria's Afrin region, which is held by the PKK/PYD, or elsewhere if threatened, just as it had done previously.
Last year, Turkey launched Euphrates Shield, a military operation to clear the Turkish-Syrian border region of Daesh terrorists.
“Like our president says, we can come… suddenly in one night,” Cavusoglu said.
The minister's remarks came at a news conference with the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Pakistan in the Azerbaijani capital Baku.