The U.S.-backed Kurds in the YPG (People’s Protection Units) have been labeled a terrorist group by Ankara and a spokesman for the Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim, had this to say about Britons fighting alongside the Kurdish YPG forces,
“These are terrorist groups and anyone fighting under their banner will be considered terrorists. It is the responsibility of the countries where they come from to prevent them from joining these groups. Turkish forces will confront them if they are fighting under the banner of terrorist groups, regardless of whether they are members of allied countries.”
Undoubtedly, this raises serious concerns of a NATO country, Turkey, firing upon another NATO country’s citizens, Britons. Currently, there are well over 100 American, Canadian, German, French, Swedish, and Britons who have volunteered to fight alongside the Kurds in the YPG. This is in addition to U.S. and UK special forces already positioned on the ground fighting alongside the YPG against Islamic State.
The United States and Turkey have been planning Operation Euphrates Shield for some time now but it’s Turkey’s timing on pushing the Kurds back that has caught America off guard. As officials race to try and implement a ceasefire between Turkey and the YPG, one thing is certain, Ankara will keep upping the ante until it gets what it wants; a full military offensive press against the Kurds that goes unabated by the U.S.
With the multi-national volunteers fighting with the YPG, it’s only a matter of time before Turkey in fact, makes the fatal error of firing upon one of these volunteers thus causing a serious international incident that could be avoided provided Turkey just leave the Kurds and YPG alone.
One Briton interviewed said of Turkey firing upon a Briton,
“Many are former servicemen that have distinguished themselves in Iraq and Afghanistan. Others are leftist and humanitarians. We aren’t terrorists by any definition of the word. If one of them were to be killed by Turkey then you would see a lot of public anger.”