President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday implied that the US has to choose between Turkey and a Kurdish militia in Syria as “it is the end of the road.”
“Today we’ll take very important decisions. They need to see that it’s the end of the road. This is a chance for those who claim to be our allies and strategic partners,” Erdoğan said in a speech to his party’s group in parliament.
Ankara sees the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey, which is also designated as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union.
“When they distance themselves from the terrorists who targeted our country, we’ll understand that [the US] is on our side,” Erdoğan said.
US Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Nov. 22 announced that the US has been setting up observation posts on the Turkish-Syrian border to relieve Ankara’s security concerns about the YPG.
The US had formed an alliance with the Kurdish militia in Syria to fight against Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists.
Erdoğan also told the US that Turkey could completely terminate the remnants of ISIL in a couple of months if Ankara and Washington worked together.
“Otherwise, we’ll do whatever it takes for our country’s survival,” he added.
Erdoğan will hold a national security council meeting on Tuesday.