Turkey summons U.S., Russia envoys over support for Syrian Kurds

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Turkey's Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey. File photo: Reuters

ANKARA – Turkey has summoned U.S. and Russian envoys to warn against supplying arms and support for Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State (ISIS) radical group in Syria, a Turkish official said on Wednesday.

“The U.S. and Russian ambassadors were called to the ministry yesterday (Tuesday) to convey Turkey’s views about the PYD (Democratic Unity Party),” the foreign ministry official told AFP. “Necessary warnings were issued.”

Turkey labels the PYD as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which has waged a bloody insurgency since 1984.

U.S.-led coalition forces have parachuted in ammunition to anti-ISIS rebels in northern Syria, stepping their backing for groups battling jihadists.

The move follows the Pentagon’s announcement last week that it would halt its much-criticised program to train moderate rebels, and instead focus efforts on equipping pre-screened rebel leaders from groups actively fighting ISIS.

Russia is intervening in Syria with bombing raids in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. A top Russian official last week held talks with PYD leader Salih Muslim to discuss the fight against ISIS.

Source: AFP

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