Turkey summons US, Russia envoys over support for Syrian Kurds

Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters take up positions inside a damaged building as they monitor ISIS positions, in the al-Vilat al-Homor neighbourhood in Hasaka, Syria, on July 22, 2015.
Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) fighters take up positions inside a damaged building as they monitor ISIS positions, in the al-Vilat al-Homor neighbourhood in Hasaka, Syria, on July 22, 2015. PHOTO: REUTERS

ANKARA (AFP) - Turkey has summoned US and Russian envoys to warn against supplying arms and support for Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) group, a Turkish official said on Wednesday (Oct 14).

"The US and Russian ambassadors were called to the ministry yesterday (Tuesday) to convey Turkey's views about the PYD (Democratic Unity Party)," the foreign ministry official told AFP. "Necessary warnings were issued."

Turkey labels the PYD as the Syrian offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) which has waged a bloody insurgency since 1984.

US-led coalition forces have parachuted in ammunition to anti-ISIS rebels in northern Syria, stepping their backing for groups battling jihadists.

The move follows the Pentagon's announcement last week that it would halt its much-criticised programme to train moderate rebels, and instead focus efforts on equipping pre-screened rebel leaders from groups actively fighting ISIS.

Russia is intervening in Syria with bombing raids in support of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad. A top Russian official last week held talks with PYD leader Salih Muslim to discuss the fight against ISIS.