January 11, 2018
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Dec. 11 said “no one should dare” to establish a new state in northern Syria, warning that any such effort would be “useless.”
“Those who hope to set up a terror passage in northern Syria right now … those areas used to be included [in Turkey’s] national pact borders [also known as Misak-i-Milli],” Erdoğan said, addressing a meeting of neighborhood heads (muhtars) at his presidential palace in Ankara.
“No one should dare to establish a new state there. They will pay the price for it, if needs be. We are fully prepared,” he said.
In response to the U.S.’s arming of the Syrian Kurdiah People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group associated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), in northern Syria, Erdoğan said a “strategic partner should not act in this way.”
Turkey on Jan. 10 summoned the charge d’affairs of the United States Embassy in Ankara, Philip Kosnett, over reports that U.S. troops had started training the YPG in northern Syria, a development that could strain already fragile relations between the two allies.
Turkey’s move came a day after news broke that U.S. troops had begun to provide military training to some 400 YPG militants in a bid to create a new force to guard the Turkey-Syria border, Turkish diplomatic sources told the the local sources.
Turkey has long been condemning the U.S. for allying with the YPG, a group Ankara considers a terror organization because of its links with the PKK, in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).