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21 February, 2016

Turkey demands US support against Kurds

Ankara has urged Washington to unconditionally support the expansion of its battle against the terror threat, in particular Kurdish militias, warning that those hindering Turkey’s right to self-defense will be considered terrorists and acted upon accordingly.

The only thing we expect from our US ally is to support Turkey with no ifs or buts,” Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told a news conference after a five-hour security meeting with cabinet and state officials.

Following the car bomb attack on a military convoy in Ankara this week which left 28 people dead, a breakaway faction of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) claimed responsibility for the attack, and Turkey has vowed to intensify its fight against the Kurds both at home and in Syria.

If 28 Turkish lives have been claimed through a terrorist attack we can only expect them [the US] to say any threat against Turkey is a threat against them,” Davutoglu stated.

The US however considers the Syrian Kurdish YPG to be one of the main fighting forces against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) in Syria. Yet on Friday, during a phone conversation between President Barack Obama and his Turkish counterpart, the US leader stressed that “YPG forces should not seek to exploit circumstances in this area to seize additional territory,” in northern Syria where the Syrian army and the Kurdish militia, aided by Russian air power, have been making large gains.

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