UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

President Erdogan says US supporting terrorists who 'kill' Turkish citizens

Iran Press TV

Monday, 15 February 2021 3:37 PM

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the United States is supporting "terrorists" who, according to Ankara, have just recently killed more than a dozen Turkish forces in northern Iraq.

Ankara said on Sunday that militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) had executed 13 captives, most of them purportedly Turkish soldiers and police officers who had allegedly been kidnapped in southeast Turkey and kept in an Iraqi cave.

The captives were reportedly killed in Iraq's northern Gara region.

"The blood of innocent people martyred in northern Iraq is on the hands of all [those] defending, supporting and sympathizing with PKK terrorists," said Erdogan, who was speaking at a provincial congress of his ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party in the Black Sea province of Rize on Monday.

On Sunday, the US State Department issued a statement and denounced "the death of Turkish citizens" in northern Iraq, assuring that America stands with its NATO ally Turkey. It also offered its condolences to the bereaved.

"If reports of the death of Turkish civilians at the hands of the PKK, a designated terrorist organization, are confirmed, we condemn this action in the strongest possible terms."

However, Erdogan scoffed at the US statement on the incident, lambasting it as "a joke," saying, "Now there is a statement made by the United States. It's a joke. Were you not supposed to stand against the PKK, the YPG? You clearly support them and stand behind them."

"If we are together with you in NATO, if we are to continue our unity, then you will act sincerely towards us. Then, you will stand with us, not with the terrorists," Erdogan stated, adding that Washington is "obviously backing" PKK, YPG, and PYD despite claiming otherwise.

Washington supports Syrian Kurdish militants of the People's Protection Units (YPG), a group that acts as the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a larger anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants who are also supported by the US.

The YPG itself is the military wing of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

Ankara views the YPG as a terrorist organization and the Syrian branch of the outlawed PKK, which has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

The US has also designated the PKK as a terrorist organization, but at the same time, the American forces have been fighting alongside YPG militants against what they claim to be terrorists of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group in Syria.

Turkey has repeatedly denounced the US, its NATO ally, for its collaboration with YPG militants.

Turkey summons US ambassador

Separately on Monday, Turkey's Foreign Ministry said it had summoned the US ambassador to Ankara to convey Turkey's reaction to the US statement on the killing incident.

The ministry said it communicated "in the strongest possible terms" to US Ambassador David Satterfield Ankara's displeasure with Washington's refusal to immediately accept Turkey's version of events.

Earlier on Monday, Turkey's foreign minister said the West continues to maintain a "selective" approach towards terrorism after the US and the Europeans issued either a lukewarm reaction or kept mum on recent killings by anti-Turkey terrorists.

"Western world's double standard on terrorism and its selective approach about "good terrorist" and "bad terrorist" continue," Mevlut Cavusoglu tweeted on Monday.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list