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ISIS Syria Turkey

US talking with Kurdish rebel group

17 Oct, 2014

Israel’s Arutz Sheva newspaper reports that the State Deparment’s Jen Psaki confirms talks have been held with the Kurdish YPG (People’s Protection Units), part of the Democratic Union Party (PYD). The PYD is considered by Turkey to be an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party, or PKK. This is classified by the U.S. and EU as a terrorist organization due to its involvement in the insurgency in Turkey for Kurdish independence. Psaki:

This was just one conversation over the weekend. So it doesn’t represent coordination. It represents one conversation.

She doesn’t state how frequently U.S. officials might be in contact with the YPG. Arutz Sheva reports that an alliance with the Kurdish group could place Turkey’s involvement in the coalition against ISIS at risk. But it says Kurdish groups often have the best on-the-ground knowledge, and Kurdish groups previously warned the U.S. about ISIS months in advance.