BEIRUT, LEBANON (6:11 A.M.) – CNN Turk television quoted Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu as saying on Thursday that any Russian support for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK), as being a headache for Ankara.
Ankara recognizes the PKK as a terrorist group because of its decades long insurgency against the Turkish state as they seek greater autonomy for the Kurds of eastern Turkey.
“If the Self-Defense Forces [YPG] don’t leave Manbij we will deliver a strike against them. We have openly stated this. If Russia comes in support of the Self-Defense Forces in Manbij or in other place, it will become a problem for us,” the foreign minister stressed.
“However, if Russia makes effort towards clearing the territories of the Self-Defense Forces, we will support this,” the top diplomat added.