BEIRUT, LEBANON (10:30 A.M.) – The Turkish regime is preparing to ask the U.S. on Tuesday to hand over their military bases in Syria, the Hurriyet Daily publication reported.
In a headline titled “give them or destroy them,” the Hurriyet article claimed that the Turkish regime is demanding the U.S. hand over their 22 military bases amid their departure from the country.
Citing unnamed sources, the report said that Turkey will not accept the U.S. transferring control of these bases to the Kurdish-led People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Turkey considers both the SDF and YPG to be offshoots of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton is meeting with his Turkish counterpart Ibrahim Kalin on Tuesday, days after Bolton added a condition to the U.S. withdrawal, saying Turkey must agree to protect the United States’ Kurdish ally, the YPG militia, which Ankara views as a terrorist group.
President Donald Trump said last month he was bringing home the some U.S. 2,000 troops in Syria, saying they had succeeded in their mission to defeat Islamic State. His abrupt move sparked concern among officials in Washington and allies abroad and prompted Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to resign.
The YPG has been the key U.S. ally in its fight against Islamic State, support that has long caused tension between Washington and Ankara. Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged a three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish south east.