The PYD/YPG is the Syrian branch of the PKK terror group, the American Special Representative for Syria James Jeffrey said Thursday.
Jeffrey spoke at a panel at the Defense One Summit, which brings top military, foreign policy and intelligence leaders to Washington to discuss American security throughout the world.
Jeffrey said U.S. operations in Syria could not be done without the “active participation, coordination, and cooperation of Turkey.”
The U.S. is not able to function in the northeastern region of Syria while fighting Daesh forces at the same time, and to do both a local partner is needed, he said.
“That local partner since 2014 has been the PYD, which is the Syrian offshoot of PKK, but we have not designated it as a terrorist organization which we did with the PKK,” according to Jeffrey, referring to the political wing of the YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people.