President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday accused the United States of siding with “terrorists” after blaming outlawed Kurdish militants of executing 13 Turks in northern Iraq.
For all the most recent headlines comply with our Google News channel on-line or through the app.
Erdogan’s feedback got here a day after Ankara mentioned Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels had killed 13 captives — most of them Turkish troopers and law enforcement officials — that they had allegedly kidnapped in southeast Turkey and stored in an Iraqi cave.
The PKK has been waging an insurgency in opposition to the Turkish state since 1984 that’s believed to have left tens of 1000’s useless.
The United States and Turkey’s different Western allies acknowledge the PKK as a terror group.
But Washington has supported one other Kurdish militia in Syria that Turkey sees as an offshoot of the PKK.
Turkey this month launched a navy operation in opposition to rear PKK bases in northern Iraq that Erdogan mentioned on Monday was designed in half to free the 13 hostages.
“The statement made by the United States is a farce,” Erdogan mentioned in his first public feedback on the incident.
“You said you did not support terrorists, when in fact you are on their side and behind them,” Erdogan mentioned in televised remarks.
The US State Department on Sunday it “deplores the death of Turkish citizens” however was ready for additional affirmation that Ankara’s account of the 13 males’s demise was true.
The PKK mentioned the 13 died when Turkish forces bombed the cave the place the boys have been being stored.
“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,” the State Department mentioned in a press release.
Erdogan mentioned Turkey’s NATO allies needed to decide sides.
“After this, there are two options. Either act with Turkey with no ifs or buts, without questioning, or they will be a partner to every murder and bloodshed,” he mentioned.
“The terrorist organization on our doorstep, on our borders, is killing innocents.”