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How Would US Handle an Ally Like Itself?

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No country would accept an ally supporting some terrorist groups targeting itself. This is the basic reason why Turkey-U.S. relations hit rock bottom

Speaking at the annual security forum held by the Aspen Institute in Colorado, U.S. Army Gen. Raymond Thomas, the head of Special Operations Command, made a controversial confession.

He explained how they renamed the People's Protection Units (YPG), the militia of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian Affiliate of the outlawed PKK.

He issued several scandalous remarks regarding the YPG, an offshoot of a group that is listed as a terrorist group in many countries, including the EU and the U.S. Some of his controversial statements are as follows:

"I've dealt with them directly. I was in the formative stage of the relationship with these guys. They formally called themselves the YPG, who the Turks would say equated to the PKK. So we literally played back to them that you've got to change your brand.

"What do you want to call yourself besides the YPG? With about a day's notice they declared that they were the Syrian Democratic Forces. I thought it was a stroke of brilliance to put democracy in there somewhere. But it gave them a little bit of credibility.

"They wanted a seat at the table, whether it's Geneva or Astana, wherever the talks are happening about the future of Syria, and because they had been branded as the PKK they could never get to the table. So while we paired with them militarily, Brett McGurk was able to keep them in the conversation and allowed them the necessary legitimacy to be good partners for us."

So, the situation would be exactly the same had a country allied with the U.S supported al-Qaida or Deash by rebranding it.

The only difference the YPG, which is the Syrian wing of the PKK that is responsible for more than 50,000 casualties in Turkey, has from these terrorist groups is its secular identity.

During the moments when the U.S. general was talking about how they whitewashed a terrorist group with impunity, the YPG was attacking Turkmens in the region.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis was asked at a press conference about Thomas's statements. He elided the questions regarding the issue, arguing that he is not informed on the subject.

However, Davis was informed on the S-400 missiles Turkey is planning to purchase from Russia.

"Turkey is a NATO ally and one of the cornerstone things we like to have with any our allies that operate, exercise and prepare to work together on common defense, which is what NATO is all about, is the ability to have equipment interoperates," Davis said.

This insolent statement goes too far by implicating that the U.S. remembers the continuity of the alliance relations with Turkey only at the point of an arms purchase.

And how could Washington provide the arms it gives to NATO to the PKK, the YPG, or with its new name, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

Also, what is the use of having equipment interoperable with an ally who supports our enemies by setting up ploys? I am really curious what Washington would do if it had such an ally - declaration of war, invade, sanction. Which one do you think?

By MELIH ALTINOK - Daily Sabah

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