Erdogan slams the US of hypocrisy for supporting “terrorists” in Syria
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the United States of hypocrisy, without mentioning the country’s name.
“We do not have to tolerate the hypocrisy of those who support a registered terrorist organization with name changing games,” Erdogan said, referring to Washington’s allying with the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.
The YPG is a Kurdish group that forms the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which is allied with the US in its fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria. Turkey sees the YPG as an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) who fights an insurgency against Turkish military for Kurdish autonomous rights in Turkish soil since 1984. While the PKK is designated as a terrorist organization by the US and the European Union, the YGP is not.
“No one will be able to force our country into positions contrary to their own interests with empty threats,” Erdogan said following a cabinet meeting on Monday.
“We are not going to ask anyone’s permission, nor to give account to anyone, while taking steps concerning the security of our homeland and our people,” Erdogan said, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Turkey on Nov.19 has launched an aerial offensive into Northern Syria and Northern Iraq targeting PKK and YPG in response to an Istanbul bomb attack that Ankara blamed the two groups. While the PKK and the YPG denied any involvement, Turkey continues its airstrikes, threatening for a ground offensive when “convenient”.
The US that has maintains around 900 troops in Northern Syria, openly opposes any Turkish military action on Syrian soil, saying that it will weaken their fight against ISIS and put the US soldiers’ lives at risk.
“We have soldiers fighting ISIS in Syria. We do not want to see an action by Turkey or any other country in Syria that would put the Americans’ lives at risk,” the US National Security Council’s Strategic Communications Coordinator John Kirby said in a most recent statement on Monday.