BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:00 P.M.) – The U.S. and NATO do not view the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Syria as a foreign terrorist group, the U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said on Wednesday, as reported by a CNN correspondent.
Esper said: “We have fundamentally different views, we being the United States and our NATO allies, on whether or not the (Syrian Kurdish) YPG is a foreign terrorist organization, we don’t think they are neither do many or all of our NATO allies, but the Turks do…”
According to Esper, there are concerns that Turkey, who is a member of NATO, is moving away from the organization’s orbit. “My biggest concern with Syria and Turkey is actually Turkey-Russia, the concern is Turkey is moving out of the @NATO orbit…I think our challenge is to figure out how we can get them back closer to the NATO alliance.”
Turkey and most of their NATO allies do not see eye-to-eye when it comes to the YPG and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Syria. The Turkish regime views these two groups as offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who fought a long war against the Turkish Armed Forces in the latter part of the 1900s.
However, despite Turkey’s view on the YPG and SDF, the U.S. and its NATO allies continue to support these groups as they have played a major role in the battle against the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL/IS/Daesh).