U.S. Justice Department calls YPG ‘a sub-affiliate of PKK’

File – Fighters from the People’s Protection Units stand next to American armored vehicles at the Syrian-Turkish border. (European Pressphoto Agency via the New York Times)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — U.S. Department of Justice on Friday called the People’s Protection Units (YPG) a “sub-affiliate” of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), designated by the United States as a “terrorist” group. 

The U.S. Department of Justice mentioned it in a statement announcing the arrest of a military veteran on charges of inciting violence ahead of planned protests this weekend at the Florida state capitol.

The department of justice said federal agents had arrested Daniel Baker, a former U.S. Army Airborne infantryman who was kicked out of the service, for “transmission, in interstate commerce, of a communication containing a threat to kidnap or to injure.”

Baker joined the YPG in 2007 to fight against Islamic State (ISIS) fighters and the Turkish government, the justice department said.

It added that Baker was a trained sniper for the Kurdish group and that he participated in a documentary film fighting ISIS and Turkish fighters.

“YPG is a sub-affiliate of the Kurdistan’s Working Party (PKK), which is designated by the United States government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization,” the U.S. justice department said.

The United States has been supporting the YPG in the fight against ISIS militants in northern Syria. U.S. support for the Kurdish group infuriated Turkey, which views the YPG as a “terrorist group” linked to the PKK waging an insurgency on Turkish soil.

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