‘Ankara 'shocked' by US comments putting YPG, Turkey in same basket’

The Foreign Ministry's spokesman earnestly rejects US request to stop targeting PYD-affiliated terrorist groups

Foreign Minister Spokesperson Tanju Bilgiç said that Turkey was shocked at the US administration's response to its retaliatory shelling Syrian Kurdish groups that Ankara considers “terrorist organizations."

“We were shocked in the face of US State Department spokesman John Kirby's remarks that apparently equated allied Turkey with the terrorist organization PYD," Bilgiç told reporters on Monday.

Bilgiç's statement come as a response to Kirby's statement urging Turkey to stop shelling Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) Syrian Kurdish positions. “We have seen reports of artillery fire from the Turkish side of the border and urged Turkey to cease such fires," said John Kirby, State Department spokesman. “Washington also urged Syrian Kurdish and other forces affiliated with the YPG not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory," Kirby said in the statement.

Turkey launched artillery fire on Saturday after PYD-linked terrorist groups including People's Protection Unit (YPG) retook control of the Menagh military air base near its border. The shelling came amid growing fury between US and its NATO ally Turkey over Washington's support to PYD-linked Kurdish militia, which Ankara considers a terrorist organization.

The Obama administration says PYD is not a terrorist organization under US laws, while the Turkish government sees PYD as an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).


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