On January 23, Turkish Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin announced that Ankara will be ready to discuss “the current situation and future of Syria” if Washington drops support to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military wing – the People’s Protection Units (YPG).
“Our expectation is actually very basic, simple, clear and concrete: To end [its] support of the YPG and PYD. When this is accomplished, then we will say this is [the guarantee] from the U.S. for us. Then let’s talk about the current situation and future of Syria as well as the interests of the Syrian people,” Kalin said during a live television broadcast on CNN Turk about Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin. “Our expectation from the U.S. administration is to completely cut their support to YPG and PYD. This is a solid guarantee. This is also a necessary step [to be] taken on the ground.”
The YPG and its female branch – the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ) – are the core of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces.
The official added that Ankara has no direct contact with the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Instead Ankara relies on Moscow and Tehran as mediators between it and Damascus.
“At the moment, there are two countries that have an impact on the Assad regime; one is Iran, the other is Russia. We’re going to get the results on the field. We have to do it via their mediations,” he said. “Our attitude toward Assad’s future is clear. It is not possible for someone who has been so cruel and has been [responsible] for so much bloodshed to build the future of Syria.”
Kalin further added:
“In this regard, we cannot agree with Russia and Iran. But that doesn’t mean that we cannot work with them. In Aleppo, in conflict zones, in Idlib and in other areas we have to work with them.”