Turkey has informed the United States and Russia that it will not tolerate additional territorial gains by military groups represented by Kurdish people, as the Kurds in northwest Syria have been further advancing toward the Turkish border.
The Syrian Kurdish militia is currently on the verge of crossing the Euphrates River to advance even closer to the border of Turkey.
Officials in Turkey are taking the possibility of the Kurds reaching their territory very seriously.
“This is clear cut for us and there is no joking about it,” said one official.
Turkey is fearful that if the Kurdish YPG Militia of Syria enters into its territory, it could reignite separatist movements among its own population of Kurdish people. The Kurds have long fought for a country of their own, which would effectively be called “Kurdistan”.
The United States has supported the YPG Militia as a way of combating forces of the Islamic State.
Turkish officials stated, “The (YPG) has been getting closer with both the United States and Russia of late. We view the (the militia) as a terrorist group and we want all countries to consider the consequences of their cooperation.”
Leaders in Turkey also suspect that Russia has been supporting the YPG group. They believe that the YPG militia has been attempting to capture territory west of the Euphrates River.
Turkey has not stated what action it plans to take if YPG forces crossed over the Euphrates River. Meanwhile, the YPG militia has stated that it has joined forces with Arab rebels in order to combat forces of ISIS. Their effort against ISIS has been supported by the United States, as America has promised to supply them with weapons.
Meanwhile, the YPG has been accused of committing war crimes by Amnesty International for allegedly forcing thousands of non-Kurds from their homes.
Kurdish rebel groups have become the most capable partner of the United States in the campaign against ISIS. The Kurds have denied accusations that they are war criminals, and they have stated that non-Kurds who left the area are welcome to return. Kurdish militia leaders have also said that they have not forced any civilians out of their homes, but rather they left voluntarily.
In Turkey, more than 40,000 people have been killed in Kurdish uprisings since 1984. Turkish security forces and fighters from the Kurdistan Workers Party have been involved in disagreements for decades.