US 'very sensitive' to Turkey's YPG concerns

'We need to respect Turkey's concerns, and we will, we have, we believe,' Kerry says

US 'very sensitive' to Turkey's YPG concerns

World Bulletin / News Desk

The U.S. is "very sensitive" to Turkey's concerns regarding the YPG, America’s top diplomat said Thursday.

John Kerry told lawmakers the U.S. has been talking "considerably" with Turkey regarding the dispute the two countries have about the group in Syria.

The YPG is the armed wing of the PKK's Syrian affiliate PYD.

Turkey considers all three terrorist groups, but the U.S. names only PKK as a terrorist entity and says the YPG a "reliable partner" fighting ISIL in northern Syria.

"We need to respect Turkey's concerns, and we will, we have, we believe," Kerry said.

"Going forward is very important that there not be a different problem created by the short-term solution of working with the Kurds, and then that creates a longer-term challenge for all of us in the region.

So we're working very, very carefully." Citing the recapture of the city of Kobani in northern Syria by Kurdish forces, Kerry said local ground forces are needed in order to fight ISIL.

"There are different Kurds because some are more prepared and more comfortable working with Turkey than others are, and those divisions are very complicated and need to be managed carefully," he said.

"We are talking with the Turks right now about how to proceed in ways that do not cross important lines for them and that respect the sensitivities of the region and I'm confident we will be able to do that."

The YPG is currently seizing additional territory outside of Afrin, including areas close to Azaz and the Minnigh Air Base in northern Syria -- areas close to the Turkish border.

Since Feb. 13, Turkish military has been shelling northern Syria intermittently in retaliation to artillery fire from PYD forces based around Azaz.

The PYD is the Syrian branch of the PKK, which has since 1984, targeted Turkish security forces and civilians.

Kerry also said the U.S. opposes the recently proposed sale of Russian Sukhoi-30 fighter jets to Iran.

"There’s a committee and it’s in approval in the committee, but we would not approve it," he said, referring to the UN Security Council.

The Russian twin-engine multi-role jet is comparable to the American F-15E bomber, which are all weather fighters with a "proven design that is undefeated in air-to-air combat," according to Boeing.

Asked whether the U.S. would support any UN resolution that supports Palestinian statehood, Kerry said the U.S. "always opposed any one-sided resolution, something that is unfair to Israel".

The U.S. is urging Israel and Palestine to resume a "genuine" peace process. Kerry was also asked about a recent bill designating the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood as a "terrorist organization", which passed a House committee earlier this week.

"As a whole it's very hard to wrap everybody into the same pot," Kerry said, adding there were members of the group who were engaging in violence.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 26 Şubat 2016, 08:58