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Kurdish militia may help Syrian regime with Idlib offensive: Turkish FM

An alliance between the Kurdish YPG and the Syrian regime has been touted [Getty]

Date of publication: 14 September, 2018

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Cavusoglu warned the US to 'assess who its real allies in the region are,' after claiming that the US-backed Kurdish militia may help Assad in his Idlib operation.
Turkey’s foreign minister has said the Kurdish YPG militia may join forces with the Syrian regime in the impending attack against Idlib, in a letter penned to New York Times editors published on Thursday.

Writing as a response to an op-ed published by NYT last week, Mevlut Cavusoglu said: “New reports suggest that the YPG, a terrorist group operating from Syria that has received arms and aid paid for by American taxpayers, has forged an alliance with Mr. Assad and is sending troops as part of a deal brokered in July to help him recapture Idlib from the rebels.”

Meanwhile, Cavosoglu told reporters on Friday morning that Turkey was still working towards a ceasefire deal in the northwestern province, and that Turkish President Erdogan was to meet with the Russian leader Putin in Sochi on Monday for talks.

The US and Turkey, who both oppose Bashar al-Assad's government in Syria, have long held conflicting views to the Kurdish militia group also known as the People's Protection Units.

Washington has funded and armed the group, who played a significant role in ridding swathes of the country from the Islamic State militant group.

Ankara however designates the YPG as a terrorist organisation linked to the Turkish PPK, a Kurdish separatist group who waged a long and bloody insurgency in Turkey's southern region since the 1980s.

See in pictures: Syria rebels gear up for regime assault on Idlib as thousands of civilians flee

Cavosoglu warned in the letter that: Washington should “assess who its real allies in the region are.”

Bashar al-Assad, who has vowed to recapture "every inch" of Syria from the opposition, has been amassing his troops at the borders of Idlib governorate in preparation for a large-scale offensive to retake the rebel-held region.

Many are expecting his campaign to be the bloodiest yet witnessed in the seven-year-long conflict.

Meanwhile Turkey has also been sending troops along with arms to Idlib in preparation for the offensive.

Local sources told The New Arab that Turkey had sent over 100 military vehicles to Idlib, most of them armed tanks.

This comes after several attempts from Turkey to call a ceasefire in the region and avert bloodshed.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan met previously with the leaders of Iran and Russia last week for a summit in Tehran, but his demands for a ceasefire were rejected.

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