Turkey issues arrest warrant for head of Syrian Kurdish PYD, senior PKK operatives

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Turkish authorities on Tuesday issued an arrest warrant for the leader of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as well as senior operatives of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in connection to a bomb attack in February that targeted a military bus in the capital of Ankara, the Anadolu news agency said.

Authorities issued the warrant for Salih Muslim, the co-chairman of the PYD, as well as 47 others in relation to the attack, the state-run agency said. The PYD is affiliated with the YPG militia, which the United States is backing in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria.

Senior PKK operatives for whom an arrest warrant has been issued are Zübeyir Aydar and Remzi Kartal, who are known to be responsible for PKK activities in Europe, as well as Cemil Bayık, Murat Karayılan and Fehman Hüseyin, who are based in PKK camps in northern Iraq.

NATO member Turkey has been angered by that support. It sees the Syrian Kurdish militia as an extension of the PKK, which has carried out a three-decade insurgency in Turkey’s mainly Kurdish Southeast.

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