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US, Russia compete to woo Syrian Kurds

The recent rapprochement between the Kurds and Russia is a new phase in the two sides' relations that date back to the 19th century, but Kurds do not want to alienate the United States either.
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Nowadays, one of the least enviable positions in Washington is that of a government spokesperson who is required to give daily briefings to the media. Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a frequent critic, recently lashed out against US policy regarding Syrian Kurds. Erdogan referred to US State Department spokesman John Kirby’s remarks that Washington does not see the Syrian Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) as terrorist organizations.

In Kirby's press briefing April 28, reporters brought up Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter's statement earlier that day acknowledging "the direct link" between YPG forces in Syria and the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The United States has officially designated the latter as a terrorist group, but not the YPG.

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