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Ankara riled by US push for Kurdish seat at Syria talks

US statements that Syrian Kurds should be included in talks on Syria's future have further agitated Turkish leaders, who are already upset about Washington's coalition with the People's Protection Units.
A Kurdish fighter stands with his weapons near a fluttering Kurdish flag in the Ghwairan neighborhood of Hasaka, Syria, August 23, 2016.REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTX2MP4F

Tensions between Turkey and the United States over the latter’s alliance with Syrian Kurds in the battle against the Islamic State show no sign of abating, as Turkish leaders continue to accuse Washington of working with its enemies. “Turkey’s allies are still providing weapons to the YPG [People’s Protection Units],” Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak fumed Jan. 11. “And what business does a terror group have at the peace table?” 

Kaynak was responding to remarks by US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner, who at a Jan. 10 press briefing asserted that the YPG’s political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), needs to take part in the currently stalled Geneva peace talks on Syria. “This process has to include all Syrians, and that includes the Syrian Kurds,” Toner said.

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