Kurdsish Forces to Battle IS in Raqqa

The means that Mr. Trump has to find ways to mollify President Erdogan and, to the extent possible, insure that US weapons are not used against our North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

Erdogan issued a statement afterward, congratulating Trump for his presidential election victory.

Many Turks also still refer to an incident in northern Iraq that year, when US forces handcuffed 11 Turkish soldiers whom they suspected of plotting to assassinate a top Iraqi Kurdish official.

It’s not clear, however, whether Erdogan expects to be able to dissuade Trump during their meeting, and what action he is prepared to take if the US goes ahead with the policy.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by airstrikes from the USA -led coalition, are on a multi-pronged offensive, clashing with militants northeast and northwest of Raqqa.

And then there’s the thorny issue of Fethullah Gulen, a Pennsylvania-based cleric who Erdogan accuses of orchestrating the last year’s failed coup. “They presented lot of documents to help clear the USA stance on YPG”. “Now, we are in a crisis period”. Other reports said Trump could give Erdogan free rein for Turkish attacks against the PKK in Iraq. “However, the highest level of discussions will be held between President Trump and me”. US and Jordanian officials said the call was previously scheduled. Kurds are an ethnic group predominantly concentrated along the borders of four countries — Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran.

“America is going through a transitional period now”, Erdogan said, and Turkey “must be more careful and sensitive”.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said after talks in London last week with U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that Trump’s meeting with Erdogan would be an opportunity to “correct the mistake” of support for the YPG.

“We are not going to declare war on the United States, this is not the case”.

If the United States ends up working with the YPG, an armed group with organic ties to the PKK, in the Raqqa operation, the PKK will have more influence over Syria.

Such support “is not an action suitable to serious states”, he said.

The issue was already driving a wedge between the USA and Turkey during the Obama administration.

Regarding the USA decision to arm Kurdish elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces, Davis said the arming has not yet begun.

“We agree 100 percent with Turkey’s concern about PKK, a named terrorist group“. One possibility to explore is whether YPG militia could persuade the PKK to call off its current campaign against Turkey and return to the negotiating table.

A decision to directly arm the YPG was made by President Barack Obama before he left office, according to Colin Kahl, a former top national security aide to Vice President Joe Biden. Both the Obama administration and the administration of Donald Trump regard the Syrian Kurds as the most effective and appropriate combat partner for the United States in the fight against ISIS. Flynn, Kahl noted, was later found to be a paid consultant to pro-government Turkish interests.

Erdogan’s visit comes amid rising tensions with Turkey. The U.S.is relying on regional allies including Turkey for intelligence-sharing and military assistance as it crafts a Syria policy, particularly as Iran and Russian Federation work to bolster Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan meets Donald Trump on Tuesday in Washington for the first time as president, hoping to entice the American leader into major policy shifts to solidify a crucial but increasingly strained relationship.

Erdogan portrays US support for the Kurdish militia – instead of Syrian Arab rebels – as a leftover policy from the Obama administration, which he said had wrongly accused Turkey of doing too little in the fight against Islamic State.