Actually, The State Department Still Considers Kurdish Militants A Terrorist Group

I have made reference in recent days to the fact that the State Department previously considered the PKK (Kurdish militants) to be a terrorist organization.

In fact, when searching for the 2014 State Dept list of known terrorist organizations, I learned something fairly surprising. The PKK was never taken off the list of terrorist organizations.

Here is what the listing for the PKK says as of 01 March 2019:

State Department Maintains Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) Designation of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)

Since designating the PKK over two decades ago, the United States has worked with Turkey and other Allies to counter the terrorist threat from the PKK. The United States maintains a strong commitment to our partnership with our NATO ally Turkey, including fighting PKK fundraising operations in Europe and elsewhere.

Today’s actions notify the U.S. public and the international community that the PKK remains a terrorist organization. In addition to its continued status as an FTO, the PKK has also been designated as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist under Executive Order 13224 since 2001.

Designations of terrorist individuals and groups expose and isolate them, and deny them access to the U.S. financial system. Moreover, designations can assist the law enforcement actions of other U.S. agencies and governments.

End quote.

The YPG is a subsection of the PKK. Amnesty International has this to say about the YPG:

In villages south of the town of Suluk, some residents said YPG fighters had accused them of supporting IS and threatened to shoot them if they did not leave. While in some cases residents acknowledged that there had been a handful of IS supporters in their villages the majority were not supporters of the group.

In other cases, villagers said YPG fighters had ordered them to leave threatening them with US coalition airstrikes if they failed to comply.

“They told us we had to leave or they would tell the US coalition that we were terrorists and their planes would hit us and our families,” said one resident, Safwan.

The YPG has justified the forced displacement of civilians by saying it was necessary for the civilians’ own protection or militarily necessary.

“It is critical that the US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and all other states supporting the Autonomous Administration, or co-ordinating with it militarily, do not turn a blind eye to such abuses. They must take a public stand condemning forced displacement and unlawful demolitions and ensure their military assistance is not contributing to violations of international humanitarian law,” said Lama Fakih.

I also advise reading this piece: https://www.trtworld.com/middle-east/four-myths-about-the-pkk-ypg-terrorist-group-that-need-refuting-30457

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