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Turkey Demands Removal of US Envoy McGurk

Turkey Demands Removal of US Envoy McGurkTurkey Demands Removal of US Envoy McGurk

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu is calling for the removal of the US envoy, claiming he is sympathetic to Kurdish Syrians as the top congressional Republican demands swift action after the Turkish president’s security detail violently broke up a protest in Washington, DC.

Ankara regards the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) group that has been fighting a decades-old armed campaign in southeast Turkey and is considered a “terrorist organization” by Turkey, the United States and the European Union, RT reported.

Yet the US views the YPG, a central part of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as its main ally in the battle on the ground against IS.

Earlier in May, US President Donald Trump pledged to arm the group ahead of a planned attack on Raqqa, IS’s self-proclaimed capital in Syria.

Cavusoglu said on Thursday he wanted Brett McGurk, the US special envoy to the anti-IS coalition, removed from his post.

“McGurk is definitely giving support to PKK and YPG. It would be useful if this person was replaced,” Cavusoglu told the private NTV television.

Doruk Ergun, a security policy analyst, said Cavusoglu’s comments did not represent an official request from Ankara, but rather “an airing of Turkish frustration”.

“Turkey initially hoped that with the incoming administration, [ex-president Barack] Obama-era policies would be replaced,” he said.

“This shows that Turkey’ hopes were misplaced ... and displays Turkey’s frustration with the Trump administration, which very much continues the Obama administration’s policies on Syria.”

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