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Western countries admit links between PYD/YPG, PKK/KCK

Western countries admit links between PYD/YPG, PKK/KCK
Organizations and intelligence services of the US and many European countries aware of PKK factions

By Ercan Canpolat

ANKARA (AA) - A number of countries including the U.S., Germany and the U.K. admitted that PYD and YPG are Syrian offshoots of the terrorist PKK/KCK group.

PKK is a terror group that has waged a more than 30-year war against the Turkish state.

According to information compiled by Anadolu Agency reporters, the organic link between the terror groups was revealed by organizations and intelligence services of those countries.

The PYD/PKK terrorist organization, which the U.S. regards as an "ally" in Syria and provides arms to, was described as a terrorist organization on the CIA website and Salih Muslim was also shown as the leader of the Syrian offspring of PKK.

The U.S. National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) website has a page on the PKK, titled "Kongra-Gel (KGK)". However the link to the page, which describes PYD as the Syrian affiliate of the terrorist PKK, is broken.

In addition, Obama-era Defense Secretary Ashton Carter had also admitted the relationship between the YPG and the PKK before a Senate panel on the terrorist organization Daesh in 2016.

Carter confirmed the connection between the YPG and the PKK when asked by Sen. Lindsey Graham.

-YPG 'name change' on US request

The U.S. State Department also did not make any correction after spokesperson Heather Nauert called the YPG in Afrin, Syria "the PKK".

"Turkey has taken its eye off the ball ISIS [Daesh] and is going after the PKK this time," Nauert said last month in a news conference without a correction, referring to Turkey's military operation to remove the PYD/PKK terrorists from Afrin.

Last July, Raymond Thomas, the head of U.S. special operations command, urged YPG to rebrand itself to avoid Turkish concerns and give the group a voice in Syria's future.

"They formally called themselves the YPG, who the Turks would say equated to the PKK," he said. "So we literally played back to them that you’ve got to change your brand. What do you want to call yourself beside the YPG? With about a day’s notice, they declared that they were the Syrian Democratic Forces."

The name change was vital to getting the group legitimacy in talks about Syria's future, Thomas said.

According to NATO sources, PYD was also recognized as a terror organization during a NATO meeting in 2013, and the U.S. ratified the decision.

- European remarks

The UK government also said it is the Turkish government’s legitimate right to defend itself against the PKK violence.

“We are very concerned over possible links. We don’t seek any link with the PKK and ourselves in any way,” said Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East, speaking at a session of the House of Commons’ Foreign Affairs Committee.

“We urge the PYD at all times to sever any links it might have with the PKK,” he added.

Dutch Foreign Minister Halbe Zijlstra said late January that Turkey had sufficient grounds for self-defense since the country faced attacks.

Referring to the right of self-defence under international law and Article 51 of the UN Charter, Zijlstra said there were “clear attacks” against Turkey which gave the country “sufficient grounds” to defend itself.

On January 27, 2016, the Spanish Interior Ministry announced that a total of nine persons -- eight from Spain and one from Turkey -- were arrested over having links to the PKK.

According to an indictment approved by a Spanish court, two of the arrested people were allegedly received training in the north of Syria in the fight against Daesh, and joined YPG, the armed force of PKK in north Syria.

source: News Feed
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