Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he has “confirmed evidence” that the US-led coalition is supporting Daesh and other terrorist groups in Syria.
“What were the coalition forces saying in the beginning? They were saying: ‘We will fight against the terrorist organization Daesh until the end.’ In fact, they were accusing us of supporting Daesh. Now they’ve all disappeared. On the contrary, they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Units), PYD (Democratic Union Party). It’s very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos,” said Erdogan during a Tuesday press conference.
The US and some of its regional allies, in particular Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, have on multiple occasions been accused of arming and funding militant groups fighting the Syrian government for nearly six years.
Anakra deems the PYD as a branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been engaged in an armed insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 and designated as a terrorist group by the US.
Turkey has vowed to press ahead with its hunt of Kurdish militants in both Iraq and Syria.
Erdogan’s announcement came just one day after Former US Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein accused Washington of backing terrorist groups when it serves its interests.
The Turkish president also stressed that the US had failed to keep its promise of air support in Ankara’s operations to liberate the Syrian city of al-Bab from Daesh.
“Even though the US-led coalition has failed to keep its promises [pledging air support] in our operation to liberate al-Bab, we will rid the city of Daesh terrorists, no matter what,” he said.
Turkey is in the middle of a military operation to capture al-Bab from Daesh. Ankara, which started its incursion into Syria in August, claims that it is only supporting the militants in northern Syria in the drive against Daesh. However, reports over the past days have suggested that Turkish troops have been directly involved in the battle in al-Bab.
The ongoing assault in al-Bab has inflicted significant casualties on civilians. The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Friday that around 90 civilians, including 21 children, had lost their lives in a matter of 24 hours as Turkey intensified its airstrikes on the town.