National Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli says US arms for PKK/PYD terror group in Syria will eventually point at Turkey
The U.S. weapons for the PKK/PYD terror group in Syria will be used to target Turkey once the fight against Daesh ends, National Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli said Thursday.
In remarks made in Georgia’s Batumi city, Canikli said: "The U.S. provided weapons that could arm nearly 40,000-50,000 men to fight Daesh.”
“Our ally, our friend the U.S. is conducting joint efforts against Daesh in the region with the YPG terror group."
"The U.S. is doing this [for its fight against Daesh], but we know that the terror group's final target is Turkey. Once [the fight against] Daesh is over, which it almost is, all of those weapons will point at Turkey," said the minister, who is attending a southeast Europe defense ministers’ meeting in the country.
Regarding Turkey’s concerns on weapons supply to PKK/PYD, Canikli said “They [U.S. officials] are saying that the weapons can be taken away but we have serious concerns for our security. Some of these weapons were seized from terrorists in Turkey.”
He added that even though terror groups Daesh and Al-Nusra emerged in Syria, more than 9,000 Daesh fighters, all foreign nationals, were arrested in Turkey.
“There is a real confusion in the criteria and concept of fighting terror. There is a problem caused by not clarifying principles of fighting terror, similar to the Cold War era,” he added.
Turkey considers the PKK/PYD, sometimes referred to as the YPG, as a terrorist organization which has waged a 33-year war against Turkey.
More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.
However, the U.S. sees the PKK/PYD as an ally in the fight against Daesh in Syria.
Canikli said that NATO is doing its part in promoting world peace, however there are issues that need to be discussed.
“Turkey, as a NATO ally, is not comfortable. Our concerns are not being addressed entirely, not in this system.” he added.
He added that the EU and NATO should work together, as "countries have great expectations from these alliances".