Turkish interior minister pledges to root out the US from Syria
Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu accused the United States of helping a Kurdish armed group in Northern Syria adding that Turkey needs American forces out of the region to have security along its southern borders.
The Kurdish People’s Protection Units, (PYD) the main component of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) that controls several areas in the region, took 2 billion dollars of help in the last 3 years from the US Congress, Soylu said, while visiting the largest Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in southeast of Turkey.
“If the US did not ensure the security of the PKK/PYD, it could not take a half-meter step. Without the US, there would be no PKK/PYD. The patent of PKK and PYD is America, it is their servant. We don't need the US. It uses all kinds of scenarios to weaken us,” he said.
The SDF was the main ally of US-led coalition forces in their fight against the Islamic State during 2014-2017 and fought fiercely all across Northern Syria against the islamic militants, leaving 11 thousand dead among its ranks.
Turkey says PYD is affiliated with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party) who has fought against Turkey for the last four decades and tries to clear the group from the region with ground offensive and airstrikes.
Soylu claimed that Turkish forces would soon eradicate PKK in Turkey but that was not enough.
“We must uproot [the PKK] from the geography around us. We must uproot the US. I'm telling you frankly…” he said.
The US forces has mostly left Syria after the war with ISIS but keeps around 900 troops in the oil rich regions in the east of the country.