ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday nobody had the right to claim that the Syrian Kurdish YPG has no links with Kurdish militants in Turkey, after the U.S. military retweeted a statement from a YPG-dominated alliance suggesting no ties.
“Those who were shedding blood under the Islamic State flag until yesterday have now emerged with a PYD, YPG identity. Nobody has the right to claim they have nothing to do with the PKK,” Erdogan told a meeting in Ankara.
Turkey views the YPG as an extension of the PKK militant group, which has waged a three-decade insurgency against the Turkish state and is considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, the United States and the European Union.
U.S. Central Command earlier re-tweeted a statement by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) alliance, which has U.S. support and which includes the YPG, saying it was not part of the PKK.
Reporting by Ercan Gurses; Writing by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Nick Tattersall