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US excludes PYD, YPG from terror designation in report

US excludes PYD, YPG from terror designation in report
Turkey considers groups to be affiliated with PKK terror organization

By Michael Hernandez

WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S. again refrained from labeling the PYD and its armed wing, the YPG, as terrorist organizations in a report released Thursday.

In its annual country account on terrorism, the State Department noted that Ankara “considers the Syria-based Democratic Union Party [PYD] and its military wing, The People’s Protection Units [YPG], to be terrorist organizations,” but did not follow suit.

Turkey considers the groups to be affiliated with the PKK and labels them as terrorist organizations.

While the U.S. and EU also designate the PKK as a terrorist group, Washington has refrained from labeling the PYD and YPG similarly.

The terrorist YPG group has been central to Washington’s anti-Daesh strategy, and U.S. officials have called the group an “effective partner” in the campaign.

Thursday's report notes that the PKK is “prominent” among terror groups operating in Turkey and says that activity by the DHKP/C, an extreme leftist terror group, “threatened the security of both U.S. and Turkish interests” in 2015.

“So too did the actions of the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons/Hawks (TAK),” the report says.

The group claimed responsibility for the Feb. 17 and March 13 Ankara bombings that killed scores of victims in the capital.

"Turkey is a long-standing counterterrorism partner of the United States," said the report. "It continued to receive U.S. assistance to address the terrorist threat posed by the PKK in 2015."

The report said "Turkey has voiced increasing concern about terrorist groups near its border", including Daesh and al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, the Nusra Front.

Daesh is responsible for the deadliest attack on Turkish soil -- the Oct. 10, 2015 bombings that targeted a rally in Ankara that killed 102 victims and injured more than 400 others.

source: News Feed
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