Turkey's Erdogan rejects pledges over weapons for Kurdish fighters in Syria
Iran Press TV
Sun Jun 25, 2017 6:12PM
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says those countries that promised Ankara to get back weapons supplied to the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) once the militiamen accomplished their alleged counter-terror mission in Syria are actually trying to trick Turkey and would eventually realize their mistake.
The Turkish president made the remarks at a rally held by his ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan, in the capital Ankara on Sunday.
The United States has already supplied weapons and ammunition to the YPG, which is considered by the Turkish government as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). The move has outraged Erdogan, who warned Washington about the purported consequences of arming the "terrorist" YPG.
The US-backed YPG fighters are fighting with the Takfiri Daesh terrorists in Syria's northern city of Raqqah, the terror group's de facto capital in the Arab country, and declared that they will fight as long as they manage to drive terrorists out of the embattled city.
Erdogan's comments were made in an apparent reference to US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis' promise to Ankara that Washington would take back the weapons and equipment it had supplied to the YPG after curbing Daesh in Raqqah.
Mattis, in a letter addressed to his Turkish counterpart Fikri Isik on Thursday, stated that the White House had taken intensive and determined measures regarding Turkey's security concerns, and would provide Ankara with a monthly list of the weapons and equipment supplied to the YPG.
They will eventually realize their mistake "but it will be too late for them," Erdogan said, adding that if violence spilled over Syria's border into Turkey, Ankara would hold responsible anyone who had supplied arms to the YPG.
"We will make the real owners of those weapons... pay for any bullet that will be fired to our country, for every drop of blood that will be shed," Erdogan said.
Arming the YPG, which forms a main part of the US-backed force in the region, came after US President Donald Trump ordered the measure, despite protests from NATO ally Ankara. Erdogan fears that the YPG will permanently hold parts of land in northern Syria after finishing with Daesh.
"I want all the world to know that in northern Syria, on our border, we are never going to allow a terrorist state to be established," Erdogan said.
The city of Raqqah, which lies on the northern bank of the Euphrates River, was overrun by Daesh terrorists in March 2013, and was proclaimed the center for most of the terrorists' administrative and control tasks the following year.
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