By Esra Kaymak Avci
WASHINGTON (AA) – The United States will continue to work with Turkey to fight Daesh but will also continue supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces militia, the U.S. administration has said.
U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said during a briefing late on Tuesday that Washington would continue to talk to Turkey about doing “a better job of fighting against Daesh".
"Turkey is a key partner in this fight. They're a strong NATO ally," he added.
However, Kirby also said that the U.S. would still support the Syrian Democratic Forces, noting that the organization did not solely consist of Kurds, but included Arabs and other ethnicities.
The Syrian Democratic Forces is an alliance predominantly consisting of the Kurdish PYD, a Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group. A smaller number of fighters in the group are Arabs, Assyrians, Armenians, Turkmens and Circassians.
Kirby said that, for Turkey, battling Daesh was not an "esoteric discussion" as the threat was right along the Turkish border.
"It's real," he said, adding: "We appreciate the support that they've [Turkey] given to the coalition. We're going to continue to look for ways to bolster that cooperation and to try to improve our joint efforts against Daesh."
Kirby's comments came after Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said earlier this week that the PYD – the Syrian offshoot of PKK, which is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU – sought more territory in Syria and to divide the country.
Cavusoglu called on the U.S. to let their special forces join Turkish troops to make an operation on Daesh's self-proclaimed capital in Syria, the city of Raqqa.
There has been no answer from the U.S. side so far.
Although Turkey views the PYD and its armed wing – the YPG – as terrorist groups, Washington continues to support the pair as an "effective partner" in the fight against Daesh.