Turkey knocks US support for YPG as ‘big mistake’

Turkey knocks US support for YPG as ‘big mistake’
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Turkey's foreign minister said late Saturday that the U.S. support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia is a "big mistake" ahead of a discussion with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Morning Report — No deal in sight as shutdown looms Turkey: Trump working on cleric’s extradition Trump risks clash with Congress over Chinese executive MORE.

Reuters reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said he intends to bring up the issue with Pompeo on Tuesday during a discussion of bilateral relations. The tension stems from Turkey's view that the YPG, which is associated with U.S. allied forces in Syria, is an extension of the insurgent Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

“Despite knowing and acknowledging that (the YPG) is the same organization (as the PKK), seeing this cooperation as necessary is really a big mistake,” Cavusoglu said, according to Reuters.

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The news outlet reported that Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said separately that he told U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford that Turkey expects the U.S. to end its support for the militia immediately.

Tensions over the YPG militia come as the U.S. and Saudi Arabia collaborate on the investigation into the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudi dissident was killed after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

In addition, NBC News reported late last week that the Trump administration is considering ways to remove exiled Turkish cleric Fethullah Gulen from the United States. Gulen is an enemy of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The move would reportedly be an attempt to prompt Erdogan to take pressure off the Saudi government.