A former U.S. ambassador to Damascus Robert Stephen Ford said on Tuesday that the terrorist PYD and its armed wing group YPG want to create their own state in northern Syria, noting the links to the terror organization PKK.
"The YPG, the militia that the U.S. is supporting, is absolutely affiliated with the PKK,” Robert Ford said at a Senate panel on Syria while noting the militant group’s separatist motivations in Syria.
Ford’s comments were in response to a line of questions by Republican Sen. Marco Rubio regarding the goals of the PYD and Turkey’s concerns about it.
Rubio asked Ford whether YPG terrorists are willing to clear ISIS from the Membij pocket, a 98-kilometer (60-mile) area in northwestern Syria bordering Turkey, in order to establish an autonomous zone combining the small cantons it declared in 2014 in the north of the war-torn country.
“Absolutely they want to take that pocket and create a contiguous region. There is no question about that. And that is why the Turks have reacted badly.”
Turkey has been calling on the U.S. to stop supporting the PYD but Washington has provided air power and small arms ammunition to the militant group.
The PYD combined the self-declared "Kobani canton" in central north Syria with the "Cezire canton" in the northeast after it captured Tal Abiad and the villages around al-Hasakah Province from ISIS in 2015.