U.S. Embassy Statement on a Media Report by Star Newspaper

Star newspaper’s claim today (February 4, 2016) that a “U.S.-made” sniper rifle known as the Zagros was provided by the United States to the PKK is false, both in its specific claims and, more troublingly, in its general premise.

Star’s reporting contains numerous factual errors. The Zagros rifle, which is the entire basis for the article’s claims, is not of U.S. manufacture or design. The United States has not supplied weapons of any kind to the PKK or to the PYD. More fundamentally, Star’s false claim that the U.S. is in an “alliance” with the PKK or “betraying” Turkey is at variance with the simple fact that since 1952, when Turkey joined NATO, the United States has worked to protect Turkey’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

To reiterate our longstanding policy: the U.S. government considers the PKK to be a terrorist organization, and has considered it to be one since October 1997. The U.S. government has never provided the PKK with weapons. Quite the opposite, the United States works closely with our partners in the Turkish government in the struggle against terror in all its forms. Just last week (January 28, 2016), Ambassador Bass once again called “on the PKK to cease their senseless, brutal attacks” and noted “it was the PKK’s resumption of violence which is the root cause of the trauma affecting so many citizens of Turkey.”

The U.S. government stands with all its allies, including Turkey, in the fight against terrorist organizations, including the PKK — fictional allegations from newspapers like Star notwithstanding.