Turkish President Erdogan Tayyip has called for the exclusion of the Kurdish militia to remain outside the scope of a ceasefire agreed between Syria’s warring parties.
The agreement’s terms and conditions were put in place by Moscow and Washington and must start Friday at 10pm local time.
He said the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia were a “terror group” just like Islamic State (IS) jihadists and the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Nusra Front.
This is a matter of survival for Turkey.
“If Daesh (IS) and Al-Nusra are kept outside the ceasefire, then the PYD-YPG must similarly be excluded from the ceasefire for it is a terrorist group just as they are,” Erdogan told local officials in Ankara.
Ankara blames the YPG for last week’s suicide car bomb attack in the Turkish capital that killed 29 people and fears the creation of a Kurdish stronghold along its southern border.
A militant Kurdish group claimed the suicide car bombing of a convoy of military buses in Ankara but Turkish officials said the bomber was a Syrian Kurdish national working on behalf of the PYD.
“Believe me, I barely understand how clearly we can explain for our allies to understand that they are at a crossroads on this issue,” Erdogan said.
Erdogan said the PYD and the YPG must be designated as “a terrorist organisation” by Turkey’s allies.