President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday vowed Turkey would thwart any attempt by a Kurdish militia it deems “terrorists” to carve out a Kurdish state in northern Syria.
Ankara views the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdish Democratic Party (PYD) as a terror group. But the United States is closely allied with the groups’ fighters in the battle against jihadists in Syria.
“We do not and will never allow a so-called state to be established by the PYD, YPG in northern Syria,” Erdogan said in a speech in Ankara.
“They want to establish a terror corridor in northern Syria reaching the Mediterranean,” the president said.
The Syrian Kurdish groups have two “cantons” in Syria’s northeast as well as the Afrin region to the west.
Erdogan added that Turkey would continue to fight against terror organisations “wherever we find them”, referring to the YPG which Turkey says is the Syrian affiliate of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).