Ankara condemns Washington over ‘deceptive’ Syria policy
Turkey on Saturday criticized the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden over a letter sent to Congress for an extension on the national emergency in Syria for a year, which also accused Turkey of undermining the war on the Islamic State (ISIS) in the region.
“The administration is misleading Congress and distorting the realities of the region by deceiving the American public,” Turkish network NTV cited Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as saying.
The Turkish official accused Washington of continuing to “actively help terrorists’’ in Syria, while noting that Turkish Armed Forces were the only force actively fighting against ISIS in the region.
Biden on Thursday penned a letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, in which he singled out Turkey for undermining the fight against ISIS with its military offensive in northeast Syria. The letter informed Pelosi of the U.S. president’s intention to extend the National Emergency with relation to the war-battered country.
Turkey has launched four military offensives against Kurdish forces and militias on the Syrian-Turkish border against the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).
Turkey sees the SDF, which controls enclaves in northeast Syria along the Turkish border and is comprised mostly by the U.S.-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) , as an existential threat due to its links to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), an armed group which has been at war in Turkey for Kurdish self-rule for four decades.
“The United States is well aware that PKK and YPG are sides of the same coin,’’ Çavuşoğlu said. “Despite this, the Americans continue to actively help terrorists in Syria. Washington is well aware that their goal is not to fight the militants of the ISIS terrorist organization. The only army in the world that is actually fighting ISIS in Syria is the Turkish Armed Forces.’’