US Ret. Gen. John Allen, Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, left, addresses the media. AP Photo
The United States does not support the establishment of an autonomous Kurdish entity in northern Syria, the US special envoy for the coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) extremists said on July 14.
Kurdish fighters have made gains in war-torn Syria against ISIL, notably in land close to the border in the north with Turkey, triggering concern in Ankara that the Kurds might attempt to establish their own state in Syria.
“We don’t support, and I don’t think the Kurds support in northern Syria, a separate governmental entity,” said retired general John Allen.
“It is important that a partner that has ultimately been enabled to defeat Daesh [ISIL] does not become an occupying force,” Allen told a Washington think tank.
Turkey has fought a 31-year insurgency in its southeast by the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara claims is closely linked to the main Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia.
Allen also admitted that some of Washington’s allies in the war with ISIL would be unnerved by the July 14 nuclear deal between the West and Iran.
“For many of the members of the coalition, Iran has been, is and probably will remain one of the principal sources of threat to their national security,” he said.
“I won’t speculate on the outcome of the announcement made this morning with respect to whether it will fundamentally change Iran’s behavior, but it’s of course a very important question for all” coalition members, Allen said.