The United States thought Turkey would get bogged down fighting Kurdish militants in Syria, but how wrong they were, said Ilnur Çevik, senior adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
The fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), created by a Turkey-based terror group, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), have been no match for the Turkish military, Çevik said in an analysis for the Daily Sabah newspaper.
“Now U.S. taxpayers have to ask their generals why they support terrorists knowing they are a menace to Turkey? Why did they use taxpayer money to help militants who were not up to the job?” Çevik said.
“When it came to the real stuff, the YPG has proven to be a paper tiger,” he said.
The Turkish army launched an incursion into Syria on Jan. 20 to battle the YPG, which it says is indistinguishable from the PKK, recognised as a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union. Washington has sponsored the YPG as part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the battle against Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, taking the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa with YPG help.
Turkey largely defeated the PKK in an urban war in Turkey in 2015 and 2016, so the group resorted to planting roadside bombs and hit and run tactics against the Turkish security forces, Çevik said.
Now the United States should have doubts about the YPG’s capabilities to support its strategy in Syria after the PKK established the group there, he said.
“The U.S. generals who claim the YPG is a viable fighting force only have to look at Afrin to see how wrong they are.”