The U.S.-PYD-Turkey Puzzle

The U.S.-PYD-Turkey Puzzle – The Washington Institute for Near East Policy – Although heavy weapons could enable the YPG to seize more territory from ISIS, any such progress might quickly be rolled back — that is, helping the group escalate the war in the north could spur Arab nationalist backlash against Kurdish territorial advances, perhaps boosting support for ISIS. And if U.S. weapons end up in the hands of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the PYD’s parent organization in Turkey, it could seriously strain U.S.-Turkish military ties. At the same time, however, abandoning the PYD could deliver the Syrian Kurds into Russia’s hands, against Washington and Ankara’s interests. Accordingly, while Washington should weigh against providing heavy weapons to the PYD, Turkey needs to build good ties with the group and make peace with the PKK.

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