Türkiye has the right to defend itself, the White House said on Tuesday, even though its operation ‘Claw-Sword’ in Syria may make it difficult for US-backed Kurdish militias to fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) terrorists.
Speaking to reporters, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Türkiye “does continue to suffer a legitimate terrorist threat, particularly to their south. They certainly have every right to defend themselves and their citizens.”
However, Turkish cross-border operations “might force a reaction by some of our SDF partners, that would … constrain their ability to continue the fight against ISIS,” Kirby added.
SDF stands for Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed militia presently in control of northeastern Syria. The bulk of SDF fighters are made up of the Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara considers a branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).