On Saturday, the US embassy in Turkey released an official statement condemning a giant banner of Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan raised by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Raqqa city.
Kurdish factions of the SDF – YPG and YPJ – raised the Ocalan banner in the center of Raqqa and declared its “victory” over ISIS in the city on Friday.
In its statement, the US embassy encouraged all sides to avoid actions that might “increases tension”. The US embassy also stressed that the US is working with Turkey to fight terrorism and emphasized that the US recognizes the PKK a terrorist organization
The US embassy also said that Ocalan is in prison in Turkey because of terrorist acts he managed within the PKK. The embassy added that Ocalan “does not deserve to be respected”.
However, the statement was released only in Turkish language. This could mean that it was aimed at the Turkish audience.
On Friday, Pentagon Spokesman Major Galloway also condemned the raise of Ocalan banner in Raqqa city by the SDF.
“The PKK has been a U.S. designated Foreign Terrorist Organization since 1997 and we continue to see PKK as a destabilizing actor it the region. The United States continues to support our NATO Ally Turkey in its multi-decade struggle against the PKK and recognizes the loss of life Turkey has suffered in that conflict.” Major Galloway said according to the Turkish Daily Sabah newspaper.
Back on 15 February 1999, the Turkish National Intelligence Organization known as (MİT) captured Ocalan in Kenya in a secret operation. Ocalan was captured while he was being transferred from the Greek embassy to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi city.
It was reported that the CIA played a key role in the MİT operation to capture Ocalan. However, today the CIA is one of the main allies of the SDF that its mainly formed from the PKK-linked organziation known in Syria as the People’s Protection Units (YPG).