Erdogan Calls for Review of Nato Over US Arming of Kurds Fighting Isil in Syria

Diplomacy | June 28, 2017, Wednesday // 14:22|  views

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened the US on Sunday over its arming of Kurdish forces in Syria, calling for a review of the Nato military alliance in response.   

“At one side we will be together in Nato but on the other side you will act together with terror organisations,” he said in reference to the US-led coalition support to the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which is dominated by the Kurdish People's Protection Forces (YPG) Turkey considers terrorists.   

“Those so-called friends don’t see any issue walking along with terror organisations who want to divide Turkey,” the president added.   

The SDF is leading the battle to liberate the northern Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) and has been provided with weapons and training by the US military.   

Mr Erdogan said the decision, which has caused a major rift between Nato’s two biggest military forces, contravened the alliance's framework of cooperation.  

“All of these moves are against Nato,” he said. “In this case, the Nato treaty should be revised.”  

Washington has tried to placate Ankara by promising that all weapons provided to the YPG would be taken back once Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) was defeated.  

“Those who think that they can fool Turkey by saying that they will get those weapons back will eventually understand the vital mistake they made, but it will be too late,” Mr Erdogan said in response.  

The US and the EU, 22 of whose 29 member states are in Nato, has hardened its attitude towards Mr Erodgan over his increasingly authoritarian grip on the country.  

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Tags: State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, Recep Erdogan, NATO, EU, USA, military forces


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