Syrian Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Salih Muslim has shrugged off an arrest warrant issued for him by Turkey, arguing that for the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "the only good Kurd is a dead Kurd". Muslim's comments come as the PYD battles Islamic State (Isis) in eastern Syria.
Ankara put out an arrest warrant for Muslim, a Syrian national, on 22 November alongside members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is outlawed in Turkey. The country considers the PYD and its armed wing, the People's Defence Units (YPG), a terror organisation.
Turkish authorities have claimed Muslim, along with PKK leadership, were responsible for a bomb attack targeting military transports that killed 29 in Ankara on 17 February.
But the Kurdish leader denies the charges, arguing that his party has denounced the violence in Turkey. He said that the PYD has no links to PKK splinter group Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), which claimed responsibility for the bombing. "We condemned this action," he said.
Muslim is at a loss to explain why the warrant has come now, when the Syrian Kurds are involved in US-backed efforts to force Isis out of its Syrian capital of Raqqa.
"I don't know why, I think he [Erdogan] has seen me moving around in Europe too much. Perhaps he wanted to give me a rest," he told IBTimes UK.
The Kurdish leader said he had been meeting with German parliamentarians prior to the warrant being issued. He added he believed the meeting made the Turkish regime nervous.
At present, the arrest warrant will have no effect on the political leader or his ability to travel. But the Turkish publication Hurreyit Daily has reported the Ministry of Justice in Ankara is preparing to apply for an Interpol Red Notice against Muslim.
Muslim is not a Turkish citizen and it is the first time a non-Turkish Kurd has been issued with an arrest warrant by Ankara.
The YPG has been at the vanguard of the fight against Isis and is now taking part in the US-backed assault on Raqqa under the auspices of the Syrian Democratic Forces. Kurdish troops have found themselves embroiled in fighting with Turkish forces, which entered the ground war in Syria at the end of August 2016.