On November 24, Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a press conference in Ankara that US president Donald Trump told Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during a phone call that the US will not supply any weapons to the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in northern Syria, according to Reuters. The Turkish foreign minister welcomed the Trump promise during the press conference.
“Our discomfort regarding the provision of weapons to the YPG was conveyed to Mr Trump once again… Trump very clearly said he had given instructions to not provide weapons to the YPG … We welcome the promise of not providing weapons to the YPG, and want to see it implemented practically,” Cavusoglu said according to Reuters.
The YPG is the biggest part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which control most of eastern Syria and a big part of the Syrian-Turkish border.
The Trump promise is likely nothing but empty words as the US has announced on many occasions that it will continue supporting the SDF, which mean supporting the YPG.
A report of the Washington Post newspaper that was released on November 23 confirmed that the US is willing to keep its troops in the SDF areas in Syria after defeating ISIS. This is yet another evidence that the US will not stop working with the YPG in the near future.
From his side, Erdogan said that he doesn’t rule out future cooperation with Damascus against the YPG, when he was asked if he would talk with Syria president Bashar al-Assad during a press conference in Sochi on November 24.
“Turkey’s issue is not with Kurds, but with terrorist organizations. Whatever happens tomorrow is based on the circumstances. It is not appropriate to have an understanding of saying ‘no way at all.’ The doors of politics are always open until the last moment,” Erdogan said during the conference, according to the Kurdish Rudaw TV.
While Erdogan is trying to pressure the US to abandon the YPG and the SDF in eastern Syria, the Turkish president main policy is to cooperate with Russia, Iran and Iraq to end the Kurdish project in Syria. A similar alliance was able to foil the Iraqi Kurdistan Region independence project earlier this year.