Turkey on Friday decried recent remarks by the U.S. secretary of state on Turkey’s role in ensuring Syria’s security and territorial integrity.
“We reject both the style and content of U.S. Secretary of State [Mike] Pompeo’s statements that he gave yesterday in an interview to a website regarding our country with respect to Syria,” Hami Aksoy, spokesman for Turkey’s Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.
Aksoy’s remarks came a day after Pompeo, in an interview with right-wing outlet Newsmax, addressed the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, and mentioned what he called “the importance of ensuring that the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds, the protection of religious minorities there in Syria. All of those things are still part of the American mission set.”
Pompeo’s confusing the PYD/YPG terrorist group — the target of a planned Turkish counter-terrorist operation in Syria — with “the Kurds” shows a “troubling” lack of information, said Aksoy.
Aksoy also strongly condemned the U.S. viewing the YPG/PKK terror group as a partner in its fight against Daesh.
“Turkey will resolutely continue to fight the PKK/PYD/YPG and Daesh terrorist organizations, which threaten Syria’s political unity and territorial integrity, and pose an existential threat to its national security,” Aksoy said.
Ankara will also continue to protect the rights of Syrian Kurds with respect to the fight against terrorism, he added.
Turkey has long objected to the U.S. viewing the terrorist PKK/PYD/YPG as allies against Daesh, saying using one terror group to fight another makes no sense.
Turkey has also stressed how the PKK/PYD/YPG terrorizes local Arabs, Turkmen, and Kurds in areas of Syria near Turkey.
In its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives. The PYD/YPG is its Syrian branch.