The Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia rejected the Turkish allegations that it was behind the brutal Ankara attack on February 17.
Then, a car bomb exploded targeting Turkish military vehicles causing the death of 28 people. All of the international community condemned the terrorist attack and a day after the attack, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, accused the YPG of orchestrating the attack.
However, according to Al Jazeera the YPG immediately rejected the Turkish claims and said in a statement: “Despite all the provocations and attacks by the Turkish army on the border of Rojava [Syrian Kurdish area] we have not responded and acted in a historic responsible manner…We have conducted no military attack and the ones who know it the best are the Turkish army and AKP government.”
Before the Ankara attack the Turkish government decided to start military operations against the YPG in Northern Syria, who managed to gain many territories previously controlled by the barbaric so-called Islamic State (IS).
The Turkish government says that the YPG which is the military wing of the Syrian Kurdish, Democratic Union Party (PYD), and one of the most successful ground forces in the war against the IS, holds ties with the outlawed Kurdistan’s Workers Party (PKK) and therefore they are terrorists and need to be hit.
According to reports the Turkish government doesn’t want the PYD to establish an autonomous state in Northern Syria because it fears that this will give more power to the Kurds to establish an autonomous region in Turkish territory.
US financial website, Bloomberg, said that Anton Lavrov, an independent Russian military analyst said that the Syrian Kurds are trying to create a Kurdish autonomous region in northern Syria by uniting two territories separated by about 100 kilometers of land controlled by Islamist rebels. “That is the Syrian Kurds’ dream and the Turks’ worst nightmare,” Lavrov said by phone.
Turkey pressures US and the EU to name YPG a terrorist organization
After Davutoglu said that the Ankara attack was committed by a YPG member, he instantly called the international community, meaning mainly the US and the EU, to characterize the Syria Kurds fighters as terrorists and stop supporting them in the fight against the IS in Syria.
Davutoglu said that the Turkish government “cannot continue to accept these dual standards. We are looking forward to a uniform stance against them [YPG].” He added that Ankara is calling “on all the countries to take a clear stance against those terrorist organizations … (and) either stand by the side of Turkey as a state or take side with terrorists.”
The US and the EU condemned the Ankara attacks, but they didn’t reply to the call of the Turkish government to pick a side.
According to New York Times, an unnamed US official said that the USA “are cognizant of, and sensitive to, Turkish views on our cooperation with the Syrian Kurds,” said a senior American official, but he added, that “our rule of thumb is that this is needed in the campaign against ISIL.”
The US official stressed that “any time that a grievous terrorist attack occurs, it adds emotion and it adds urgency to the situation…We are very mindful of the pain and shock this causes in Turkey.”
Before the brutal Ankara attacks, both the US and the EU asked from Turkey to stop the military operation against the YPG in Northern Syria.
On February 15, the EU’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini said “only a few days ago, all of us including Turkey, sitting around the table decided steps to de-escalate and have a cessation of hostilities.” However, the fight against the YPG “is obviously not what we expect.”
The YPG is not only supported by the US, but by Russia too. Moscow has already warned that if Turkey violates Syrian sovereignty it will respond and support the YPG military group.
According to the US financial website, Bloomberg, the representative of the “Rojava Kurdistan Democratic Autonomous Administration” in Russia, Rodi Osman said that Moscow promised to protect Kurdish fighters in Syria in case of a ground offensive by Turkey. The Rojava region, is located in Northern Syria and it is targeted by the Turkish army.
If Turkey enters in Northern Syria, then a big war between Turkey and Russia is not out of the question, and therefore the political stand of the US and the EU are of great importance right now.
Turkey’s NATO allies know that the Syria Kurds fighters are very efficient in the fight against the IS and more secular compared with other military fighting groups in Syria. If they describe YPG as a terrorist organization, then they risk of losing a precious ally in the war against the IS and therefore they will be obliged to further involve in Syria.
However, a further involvement in Syria, will complicate the relations with Russia which supports the Syrian regime. On the other hand, if a big war between Russia and Turkey breaks out then the EU and the US will be obliged to support their NATO ally, bringing even more instability in the current international status quo.