First Published: 2017-11-24

Turkey says Trump pledged to stop arming Kurds
Turkey saysTrump delivered message that US will stop arming YPG in Syria during "productive" phone call with Erdogan.
Middle East Online

Relations between US and Turkey have been strained since administration of former President Obama.

ANKARA - President Donald Trump has informed Ankara that the US will no longer supply weapons to the Syrian Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Friday.

Trump delivered the message during what the Turkish presidency called a "productive" phone call with his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday

"Mr Trump said he gave a clear order and that after this, weapons would not be supplied to the YPG, essentially he said this nonsense should have been ended earlier," Mevlut Cavusoglu said during a press conference in Ankara.

The YPG is the Peoples' Protection Units Kurdish militia in Syria, which the US has seen as the most effective fighting force on the ground against the Islamic State extremist group.

"Naturally, we welcomed these statements," said Cavusoglu, adding: "Of course we want to see this put into practice."

There was no immediate comment from the US side regarding the content of the telephone call between the two leaders.

In recent months, the YPG has recaptured territory from the Islamic State jihadists, including the former de facto IS capital Raqa in northern Syria.

But Turkey views the YPG and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as "terror" groups linked to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK).

Cavusoglu again repeated that Turkey saw the YPG as a "threat" trying to divide Syria.

The PKK -- blacklisted as a "terror" group by Turkey and its Western allies including the US -- has waged an insurgency inside Turkey since 1984.

Relations between the US and Turkey have been strained since the administration of former President Barack Obama over its support for the YPG and the failure to extradite Pennsylvania-based Fethullah Gulen blamed for ordering last year's coup bid.

Gulen strongly denies the charges.

Bilateral ties are at further risk of fraying over a scheduled trial in New York of Turkish-Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab and Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy chief executive of Turkish lender Halkbank, both accused of defying US sanctions on Iran.

The trial is expected to start early next month but there are fears over possible fines against one or more Turkish banks in the event of a guilty verdict.

 

More strikes hit E. Ghouta as UN delays truce vote

Russia pours cold water on UN bid to condemn Iran over missiles to Yemen

Egypt presidential race starts with Sisi likely to win

Saudi Arabia to boost entertainment in next decade

Blatter supports Morocco bid for 2026 World Cup

Turkey says US embassy Jerusalem opening in May 'extremely worrying'

Lebanon says both suspects in Kuwait murder of Filipina maid held

38 dead in Mogadishu car bombings

Morocco police arrests prominent newspaper publisher

Syria regime continues to pound Ghouta as world stutters

UN rights commission wants S.Sudan war crimes charges

Iran grounds airline's ATR planes after crash

Turkey summons Dutch diplomat over Armenian 'genocide' vote

Turkey navy threatens to engage Italian drillship near Cyprus

Iran police shoving headscarf protester sparks social media storm

UN Security Council to vote Friday on Syria ceasefire

Dubai says Djibouti illegally seized African port

Dutch parliament recognises 1915 Armenian massacre as genocide

Heavily bombarded Eastern Ghouta awaits UN resolution

Russia says Syria rebels rejected offer to evacuate E. Ghouta

UN diplomats press for Syria ceasefire without Russia veto

Iranian minister’s presence at UN rights meeting angers critics

Iran warns it will leave nuke deal if banks cannot do business

Qatar to plant thousands of trees to ‘beautify’ World Cup venues

Pro-Kurdish party says Turkey lying about 'no civilian deaths' in Afrin

African migrants protest Israeli detention policy

Egypt sentences 21 to death for planning attacks

Israeli handball teams in Qatar spark furious outcry from locals

UN report highlights S.Sudan journalist treatment

Palestinian dies after being shot by Israeli soldiers

Gulf states urge Syria to end Ghouta violence

Wanted Bahraini militants die at sea en route to Iran

Iran's Ahmadinejad calls for immediate free elections

Merkel calls for end to 'massacre' in Syria

Iraq urges FIFA to lift ban on hosting internationals

Carnage of Ghouta's bombs breaking families

Blockaded Gaza Strip forced to pump sewage into sea

African migrants start hunger strike over Israel expulsion

UN chief 'deeply alarmed' by Eastern Ghouta violence

Three militiamen killed in Libya car bomb attack

Russia denies ‘groundless’ accusations of role in Ghouta killings

Turkey says whoever helps YPG is 'legitimate target'

Morocco dismantles IS-linked terrorist cell

Turkey urged to end gas standoff with Cyprus

PKK attack near Iraq kills 2 Turkish soldiers