Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday said he hopes the United States will reverse its decision to arm Syrian Kurdish fighters who are perceived as terrorists by Ankara.
Erdogan said the “fight against terrorism should not be lead with another terror organization” and that “we want to know that our allies will side with us and not with terror organizations.”
Erdogan’s plea came the same day U.S.-backed Syrian Kurd forces said they’ve taken Syria’s largest dam and a nearby town from ISIS.
The U.S. announced Tuesday it would arm Syrian Kurdish fighters in a bid to recapture the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa – despite Turkey’s opposition. Ankara considers the Syrian Kurds as an extension of Kurdish rebels in Turkey that have led a three-decade long insurgency against the authorities.
“We are keenly aware of the security concerns of our coalition partner Turkey,” Pentagon spokeswoman Dana White said in a statement obtained by Reuters. “We want to reassure the people and government of Turkey that the U.S. is committed to preventing additional security risks and protecting our NATO ally.”