The America and Israel are reportedly set to supply anti-aircraft missiles to Kurdish militants in northern Syria amid tensions between Ankara and Washington over the latter’s support for the militants, which the Turkish government views as terrorists.
Citing local sources, Turkey’s Yeni Safak daily reported that the US is set to deliver shipments of Stinger Man Portable Air Defense System (MANPADS) to militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
The PKK, it added, has designated the towns of Rmelan and Shaddadah in Syria’s Hasakah Province as well as the Jalabiyah and al-Omar regions as launching points for its American-supplied missiles.
Ankara is unhappy with Washington’s support for Kurdish militants of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which it views as an extension of the PKK, and has repeatedly called on the US administration to stop providing them with arms.
The PKK has been fighting for autonomy inside Turkey for decades and runs bases in neighboring Syria and Iraq as well.
The report further said the regime in Israel has also vowed to supply the Kurds with Spike anti-aircraft missiles in the Syrian provinces of Dayr al-Zawr and Raqqah following high-level meetings between the militants and Tel Aviv.
Israel has long been backing the militants operating against the Syrian government. The regime has, on several occasions, criticized Turkey for its operations against the Kurdish militants.
The US-Kurdish alliance is closely coordinating the missiles’ deployment to Syria as part of a “special joint strategy,” according to the report.
It further said that a group of 30 PKK militants have already received training to handle the advanced anti-aircraft missiles.
Turkey has since 2016 launched two military operations inside Syria against the US-backed Kurdish militants and has threatened a third if they fail to leave the east of the Euphrates.
Like Turkey, the US has listed the PKK as a terrorist group, but views the YPG as an ally in its so-called fight against the Takfiri Daesh terror group.
Turkey has repeatedly questioned Washington’s deployment of heavy weapons in Syria despite the defeat of Daesh.
Last December, US officials said the Pentagon was considering recommending that Kurdish militants be allowed to keep American-supplied weapons after the withdrawal of troops from Syria.
In February, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed Turkey’s NATO allies for supplying huge loads of weapons to Kurdish militants in northern Syria, while ignoring Ankara’s arms purchase requests.