Playing With Fire: Russian FM Warns US Against Interfering in Kurdish Issue

Playing With Fire: Russian FM Warns US Against Interfering in Kurdish Issue
REUTERS/ Rodi SaidMiddle East02:09 17.02.2018Get short URL

The United States is playing a dangerous “game” with the Kurdish issue, which could lead to great problems in countries with Kurdish populations, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has said.

According to Lavrov, it is necessary to think about ensuring equal rights for the Kurds in current borders of the countries where they live, not “try to disturb this region, which is what our western colleagues have been doing in the past century.”

“Playing a game with the Kurdish issue, in terms of a narrow understanding of own geopolitical intentions only in one part of this region, as the United States is doing now, is very dangerous. It could lead to big problems in a whole range of other countries where the Kurdish issue exists and where there is a Kurdish population,” he told Euronews.

The minister called the current conflict between the Kurds and Turkey in northern Syrian district of Afrin a sign of short-sightedness of the US policy in the region.

“These events once again point out the short-sightedness or even a malice of the United States. For two-three years, the US special units are permanently illegally operating in Syria without any request of Damascus or a mandate issued by the UN Security Council. From the very beginning the United States bet on the Kurds ignoring the Turkish concerns,” Lavrov said.

The minister pointed out that Ankara had always openly expressed its position on the Syrian Kurds calling their organizations affiliated with the Turkish-based Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey.

“Despite that the United States persistently and massively provided the Kurdish units with weapons ignoring the Turkish position,” Lavrov added.

Turkey launched its military operation against the Kurds in Afrin on January 20. Ankara has said its offensive is aimed at clearing the Turkish border with Syria from the terrorist presence. The operation was not supported by the United States.