Turkey's Erdogan will tell Trump Turkey could help retake Raqqa

Cheryl Sanders
May 9, 2017

The relocation of Turkish troops to an area near the border with Syria comes a day after USA troops were seen patrolling the tense border in Syria.

Turkey last week bombed targets of the Kurdish Peoples' Protection Units (YPG) in Syria, earning the wrath of its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally Washington, that said that the Combined Air Operations Centre received less than one-hour notice of the strikes.

"Twenty of our fighters were killed and 18 more injured as a result of the Turkish airstrikes", YPG spokesperson Redur Xelil said on Tuesday, referring to the strikes at Qara Shouk.

Video from northern Syria shows the USA patrols parked alongside Kurdish units flying the YPG flag. Immediately after the strike, the leaders of our forces - known as the People's Protection Groups, or YPG - rushed from their operations center near Raqqa, where they've been working with the USA military to push the Islamic State out of its Syrian stronghold, to view the site of the attack. However, pictures online appear to show USA armored vehicles displaying the American flag - a tactic used by the Rangers in Manbij to highlight American forces' visible presence in the region.

The U.S. has recently shifted from working quietly behind the scenes in Syria's conflict toward overt displays of U.S. force in an attempt to shape the fight.

The United States is apparently in default of its obligations under Articles 3 and 5 of the NATO treaty by supporting the PYD/YPG terrorist groups in the fight against Daesh in war-torn Syria.

The formation of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) more than a year ago has also provided the USA with the opportunity to deepen its relationship with the PKK/PYD, according to security officials in Turkey and Syria. "We are not going to tip off the terror groups and the Turkish Armed Forces could come at any moment". They asked the Americans a simple question: "How is it possible that our soldiers are fighting with you against ISIS while your ally Turkey is attacking us here?" The base is 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Syria's Tal Abyad, a town controlled by the Kurdish militia.

The YPG is distrusted by Turkish-backed anti-government forces in Syria, who say the group is an ally of President Bashar al-Assad's government. The U.S. leadership has been playing the Kurdish card for a long time.

Erdogan had been asked about photos said to show US soldiers patrolling along the Turkish border and attending YPG terrorists' funerals. Syrian government forces backed by Russian Federation also operate in the area.

"Unfortunately. the presence of an American flag along with the [insignia] of a terror organisation called YPG in a convoy has seriously saddened us", Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul, before heading on a trip to India.

Turkey views the YPG as a terrorist organisation, an extension of Kurdish militants who have waged a three-decadelong insurgency. This is very problematic for the Pentagon since it has United States special forces embedded with the YPG both in operations against the IS and in training missions.

Other reports by iNewsToday