The arrest of a Tallahassee man who called for violence against supporters of President Donald Trump has forced the US to officially acknowledge that its main proxy in Syria, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), is affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
In an official statement released on January 15, the US Department of Justice announced that Daniel Baker has been arrested in Tallahassee by the local police and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI, for inciting violence against supporters of President Trump.
Baker reportedly issued a call to arms for like-minded individuals to violently confront pro-Trump protestors gathered at the Florida Capitol. He called for others to join him in encircling any protestors and confining them within the Capitol complex using firearms.
Baker is a former U.S. Army Airborne service member who was kicked out of the service after he went AWOL [absent without official leave] before his unit was to deploy to Iraq.
“In 2017, he [Baker] joined the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a group fighting in Syria against ISIS and the Turkish government. He claimed on social media that he was a trained sniper for the YPG, and he can be seen in a documentary film fighting ISIS and Turkish militants,” the Department of Justice’s statement reads.
The statement goes on to admit that the YPG is a sub-affiliate of the PKK, which is designated by the US government as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
The rare acknowledgment raise serious questions about US movements in Syria. Hundreds of US troops are deployed in northeastern Syria to support the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a coalition mainly made up of YPG units.
For the past six years, the US promoted the YPG as a Syrian force fighting against ISIS to spread democracy, ignoring the group’s clear links with the PKK.
Through the YPG, the PKK maintains strong influence within the SDF and benefit from the US support for the coalition. Washington was warned about this by Turkey years ago, yet choose to ignore this.
The arrest of Baker exposes the double standards of the US. Washington is happy to provide support for groups like the YPG aboard. However, it does not tolerate their pro-violence ideology on its own territory.
- In Photos: This Is How US Democracy Really Looks
- “All Hands On Deck” – Up To 25,000 National Guard Now Authorized In DC For Biden Inauguration