Turkey’s president claims US supported ISIS
The head of state claims the coalition has given support to terror groups including ISIS and Kurdish militant groups YPG and PYD.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims US-led coalition forces have ‘supported ISIS’ in a press conference
Erdogan said “it’s very clear” the US is supporting terror groups in a damning press conference in Ankara.
He said: “They were accusing us of supporting Daesh (Islamic State).
“Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It’s very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos.”
American-led forces have worked alongside Syrian rebels fighting Bashar al-Assad, but have avoided helping ISIS and other militant groups.
Casualties have mounted as the military tries to take the town of Al-Bab from ISIS jihadists and Ankara has become incresingly impatient over the lack of support from the US against the extremists for the Turkish operation.
At a news conference alongside visiting Guinean President Alpha Conde, Erdogan said:”The coalition forces are unfortunately not keeping their promises.
“Whether they do or they don’t, we will continue along this path in a determined way.
“There is no going back on the path we have set out on.”
Erdogan complained that rather than supporting Turkey, the West was backing the Kurdish Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) and Democratic Union Party (PYD), who work with the United States on the ground in Syria, and also ISIS.
“They are supporting all the terror groups — the YPG, PYD but also including Daesh (IS),” Erdogan said.
“It’s quite clear, perfectly obvious,” he said, adding that Turkey could provide proof in pictures and video.
Erdogan had made a similar claim on a visit to Pakistan in November alleging that “the West stands by Daesh right now” and its weapons were Western-made.
The Turkish leader also claimed to have proof that the US had at some stage supported the jihadi group
But the Turkish leader expressed confidence over the assault saying “we now have the Daesh terror group surrounded on four sides in Al-Bab”.
“Yes we have martyrs… but now there’s no turning back,” he said.
He made no mention of a video purportedly showing two Turkish soldiers being burned to death by ISIS in Syria.
Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said earlier there was no information confirming the video.
Erdogan said that along with Russia, Turkey backed a plan to bring the parties in the conflict together with key powers for peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana.
But he said that “terror groups” must not be included and that Turkey also wanted to see its Gulf allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar involved.