Syrian Kurds say Trump should pressure Erdogan to solve Kurdish issue

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US President Donald Trump (L), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. File photo

ARA News

US president Donald Trump will host Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on May 16-17 at the White House, in the first meeting between the two leaders. Syrian Kurdish leaders say that Trump should pressure the U.S. to solve the problems between the Kurds and Turkey.

Most likely the Turkish president Erdogan will ask the US administration to end its support to the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF)–that since November 2016 are engaged in a campaign to defeat ISIS in Raqqa.

Sihanok Dibo, a Kurdish official of the Democratic Union Party in Syria (PYD), told ARA News that Washington should convince Turkey to find a democratic solution for the Kurdish issue.

“Turkey must be convinced in a way that a democratic solution for the Kurdish people would benefit the people of the Middle East, for a secure and stable Middle East free of tyranny and terrorism,” he said.

“There are always common points that can be found between the [conflicting] parties. America can play a constructive role in this,” the PYD official told ARA News.

“It would be misleading for Ankara to ask Washington to choose between them [Turkey] and the Democratic Union Party,” he said. “The US is leading the international coalition against terrorism. It must distinguish between those who are fighting with them against terrorism, and those who hinder it like Turkey,” he said.

Abdulkarim Omer, the head of foreign relations for the Cezire [Hasakah] Canton in Syria’s Kurdish region-Rojava, told ARA News that they have no specific message for Trump.

“While we face the most dangerous terrorist organization [ISIS] on behalf of the free world, the international community must put an end to the arrogance of Turkish government, which is hindering our joint campaign against ISIS,” he said.

The Turkish military on 25 April killed at least 20 members of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) in an attack on a YPG base near Derin, in Syria’s northeastern Hasakah province.

Following the attack, on 29 April, the Turkish president Erdogan said that the U.S. should work with Turkey to defeat ISIS in Raqqa.

“America, the coalition, and Turkey can join hands and turn Raqqa into a graveyard for [ISIS],” Erdogan said. “We are telling American friends not to take a terror group along with them,” he added, claiming the YPG is linked to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

After clashes between the YPG and the Turkish army on the Syrian-Turkish border on 26 April, the US army deployed troops on the border to prevent clashes between the two US allies.

“We believe that it is the best time for more tough steps to be taken,” PYD official Sihanok Dibo said about the US border patrols, suggesting this is not a solution. “The most important step here is at least creating a safe zone or a no fly zone,” he told ARA News.

“For the second point, the Syria federal declaration is a basic solution for Syria, and would be the first step to put an end to the violence, death and destruction the have continued for the last six years in Syria,” he concluded.

Reporting by: Wladimir van Wilgenburg | Source: ARA News 

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