US warns PYD not to support PKK in Turkey

The U.S. on Wednesday called on its PYD ally in Syria not to support PKK terrorists in Turkey.

Addressing Turkish concerns about links between the PYD and its armed wing and the PKK, Deputy Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said: “Turkey is one of our closest allies. Its collaboration in dealing with the crisis in Syria is absolutely vital and we are indeed working very closely together with Turkey.

“It is also not a secret that Turkey has expressed concerns about some of the Syrian Kurdish groups in northern Syria, including the PYD.”

Speaking at a news conference at the UN in Geneva, he added: “We also made it very clear to the PYD that any actions it takes to either support the PKK or to engage the other opposition groups are profoundly problematic and we look to the PYD to act responsibly and to focus its efforts on the fight against Daesh.”

The PKK, which resumed its 32-year armed campaign against the Turkish state, is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and EU.

Turkey also considers the PYD and its YPG military branch to be terror groups but the West has refused to designate them as such.

In an address to the UN’s Human Rights Council, Blinken said the U.S. was concerned at the “deteriorating human rights situation” in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, which was annexed by Russia two years ago.

“Raids, arrests, baseless prosecutions and torture have become regular facts of life for civilians, especially for those in the Tatar community,” he said.

In Egypt, he said the U.S. was worried by “mounting allegations of abuses by security services, particularly arbitrary arrests.”