Turkey and Russia have separately accused the United States of backing what they call “terrorist groups” in Syria, on the same day they agreed to push for talks in Kazakhstan next month over the conflict.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Tuesday that he had evidence that US-led coalition forces give support to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) and Kurdish groups, namely the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Union Party (PYD).
“They were accusing us of supporting Daesh,” he told a press conference in Ankara, using the Arabic abbreviation for ISIL.
“Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It is very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos,” he said, without elaborating further about the evidence in question.
The US state department dismissed Erdogan’s claims as “ludicrous.” Spokesman Mark Toner said there was no basis for such an accusation.
Galip Dalay, a columnist and analyst on Turkish and Kurdish affairs, said the sharp statement by Erdogan is an expression of disappointment in President Barack Obama’s Syria policy.