‘Turkey paying price for US alliance with Syrian Kurdish militia’
ANKARA: Turkey and the region are paying the price for the United States choosing the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia as a partner in the fight against Islamic State (IS), Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik said on Friday.
Speaking to broadcaster Haberturk, Isik said Washington was giving weapons to YPG militia, which Ankara sees as a hostile force.
However, he added that it would be too much to say that it is doing it on purpose and to trigger terrorism in Turkey.
Ankara views the YPG as an extension of the Kurdish PKK militant group, which has claimed or been blamed for a series of deadly attacks in Turkey, the most recent a car bombing in the western city of Izmir which killed two people on Thursday.
Turkey recently also established the identity of the gunman who killed 39 people in an attack on an Istanbul nightclub on New Year’s Day and further arrests were made on Wednesday, but the attacker himself remains at large.
The gunman shot dead a police officer and a civilian at the entrance to the exclusive Reina nightclub last Sunday then opened fire with an automatic rifle inside, reloading his weapon half a dozen times and shooting the wounded as they lay on the ground.
Islamic State (IS) claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.