US still considers YPG an 'effective' partner

US still considers YPG an 'effective' partner

State Dept. does not support group's desire for semi-autonomous zones in northern Syria

By Esra Kaymak Avci

WASHINGTON (AA) – The U.S. said Monday that it still considers the YPG an effective partner to fight Daesh but it does not support the group’s aspirations to create semi-autonomous zones in northern Syria.

"We ... recognize the fact that these are effective fighting forces and that they are willing to take on and dislodge Daesh," State Department spokesman Mark Toner said during a press briefing.

Asked whether the U.S. would continue to support the YPG even at the risk of alienating it’s major ally, Turkey, Toner said "sure,” adding that the U.S. is in close dialogue with Turkey and understood Ankara’s concerns regarding the YPG's presence in northern Syria.

"We also made it clear to these Kurdish forces as well that they should not seek to create autonomous, semi-autonomous zones, that they should not seek to retain of the territory that they liberate," he said.

Despite Turkey’s objections, the U.S. has supported the YPG, the military wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), that is an offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization that is fighting a decades-long war with Turkey.

Meanwhile, in a telephone call Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry reiterated to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov that the U.S. wants Moscow to put pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to abide by a Cessation of Hostilities agreement, according to Toner.

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