Turkey's Erdogan says United States visit to herald new beginning in relationship

Turkey's Erdogan says United States visit to herald new beginning in relationship

Trump wants to see a quick and decisive military defeat of IS, a goal that makes the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) a precious USA partner on the ground.

The U.S. decision to arm the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) has dealt a huge blow to the Turkish government's position.

Turkey is determined to "root out terror", Yildirim said, if "necessary guarantees for Turkey's sensitivities and issues pertaining to Turkey's security are still not given". But the US sees the YPG as effective partners on the ground in their fight against ISIL.

"We've been trying to explain this", he said. Turkey's daily Hurriyet newspaper argued Friday the decision to arm the Syrian Kurds would "likely poison the Turkish-U.S. alliance in the long run". The matter becomes even more complicated as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is scheduled to visit the White House this week. Those include extraditing the Pennsylvania-based cleric, Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan blames for fomenting a failed coup last summer, and dropping US charges against Reza Zarrab, a Turkish businessman accused of money-laundering and violating USA sanctions in Iran.

Erdogan believes that the USA government - first Obama and now, apparently, Trump - are naive about the YPG and its territorial ambitions, and that support for the group is both setting up an ethnic conflict in Syria and aiding PKK terrorism in Turkey itself. The visit of Turkish Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag on May 8 was widely believed to be another effort by Turkey to secure the extradition of Gulen, regardless of the reportedly weak evidence submitted for the extradition request.

Trump, who has said that he will be "respectful" of the domestic decisions made by other governments, is unlikely to dwell on the mass arrests and restrictions on free expression since the coup attempt, about which even his own State Department has expressed concerns.

But Erdogan may not be amenable to accepting the USA military support for the Kurds in a quid pro quo. Meanwhile, U.S. officials told reporters that the administration was prepared to share more intelligence with Turkey on the PKK.

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Speaking to reporters in London where he is on an official visit, Yildirim said a U.S. decision to provide weapons to the group in the fight against Daesh in Syria would harm the relations between the two North Atlantic Treaty Organisation allies.

On Tuesday, May 9, the Pentagon's chief spokeswoman Dana White said that yesterday, US President Donald Trump had authorized the Pentagon to equip Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces as necessary to ensure a clear victory over ISIS in Raqqa. Both the Obama administration and the administration of Donald Trump regard the Syrian Kurds as the most effective and appropriate combat partner for the USA in the fight against ISIS.

The United States sees few alternatives to supporting the YPG, which forms a major part of the Syrian Democratic Forces advancing on Raqqa, if it is to achieve the goal of crushing Islamic State in Syria. Flynn, Kahl noted, was later found to be a paid consultant to pro-government Turkish interests.

The Turks expressed fury at the USA arms supply announcement.

Last month, the Turkish military bombed Kurdish forces in Syria and Iraq, in one case with American forces only about six miles (10 kilometers) away.

Barack Aydin of the Washington-based Kurdish Policy Research Center, said the key ought to be a broader peace process between Erdogan's government and Kurdish opponents in Turkey, which would eliminate these problems. The U.S. also has pressed unsuccessfully for the release of Andrew Brunson, an American pastor, and other detained U.S. citizens.

Turkish leaders have voiced fears that any heavy weaponry used by the SDF against extremists at Raqqa will eventually fall into the hands of PKK fighters, who have battled the Turkish government for an autonomous homeland in Turkey's southeast for more than three decades.

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