ERBIL — United States Senator John McCain warned of a looming “train wreck” over the tensions between Turkey and the Syrian Kurds as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are approaching the Islamic State (IS) de facto capital, Raqqa.
McCain, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Thursday that Turkey and the Syrian Kurds may end up in a fight against each other instead of cooperating with Washington to defeat IS.
“Unless something changes, I foresee a train wreck here,” he said, questioning the US administration recognizing how seriously Turkey views the Syrian Kurds as a threat.
Ankara accuses the ruling Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Rojava of being an offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) which is in a decades-long military conflict with Turkey.
Army General Joseph Votel, who heads the US Central Command, told the Senate on Thursday that the US is trying to “work through this tension through dialogue, through information and through identifying the alternatives that give us a way to move forward against ISIS without damaging the long-term relationship with a NATO partner.”
He called Turkey a “vital partner”.