Kurdish PKK pens open letter refusing Trump's comparison to ISIS

The Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been fighting inside Turkey for more than three decades and is designated as a terrorist organisation by both the United States and Turkey, penned an open letter on Friday rebuking U.S. President Donald Trump’s comparison of the group to the Islamic State (ISIS), the Hill reported.

The PKK said it “refused comparisons” to ISIS after Trump said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Kurds were “no angels” and that the PKK was likely “more of a terrorist threat” than ISIS.

“We refuse comparisons being made between our movement and the inhumane thugs of ISIS,” the PKK’s Foreign Relations Committee said.

“We are not guilty of terrorism; we are victims of state terrorism. But we are guilty of defending our people. We believe that the American people will be able to judge for themselves who the dangerous terrorists of this world are,” the PKK said. 

Trump has been under pressure at home to impose harsher measures against Ankara over Turkey’s military offensive in northern Syria that was launched last week against Kurdish-controlled territories along its southern border.

Turkey sees the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and its affiliate People’s Protection Units (YPG), as offshoots of the PKK and threats to its national security. 

The SDF formed the backbone of U.S.-led coalition fighting against ISIS in Syria. The United States do not categorise the YPG as a terrorist organisation. 

Turkey and the United States on Thursday agreed on a five-day pause to the Turkish military offensive during which the YPG will withdraw from territories in northern Syria where Turkey plans to establish a safe zone.