Turkey Says Trump Told Erdogan Won't Give YPG More Arms
U.S. President Donald Trump has informed Ankara that the U.S. will no longer supply weapons to the Syrian Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State (ISIS), Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Friday (November 24).
Trump delivered the message during what the Turkish presidency called a "productive" phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday.
"Mr. Trump said he gave a clear order and that after this, weapons would not be supplied to the YPG, essentially he said this nonsense should have been ended earlier," Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a press conference in Ankara.
The YPG is the Peoples' Protection Units Kurdish forces in Syria, which the U.S. has seen as the most effective fighting force on the ground against ISIS.
"Naturally, we welcomed these statements," said Cavusoglu, adding: "Of course we want to see this put into practice."
There was no immediate comment from the U.S. side regarding the content of the telephone call between the two leaders.
In recent months, the YPG has recaptured territory from the Islamic State, including the former de facto ISIS capital Raqqa in northern Syria.
But Turkey views the YPG and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as "terror" groups linked to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).
Cavusoglu again repeated that Turkey saw the YPG as a "threat" trying to divide Syria.
The PKK -- blacklisted as a "terror" group by Turkey and its Western allies including the U.S. -- has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.
Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have been strained since the administration of former President Barack Obama over its support for the YPG and the failure to extradite Pennsylvania-based Fethullah Gulen blamed for ordering last year's coup bid. Gulen strongly denies the charges.