Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım on Monday strongly criticized the US over relations with a Kurdish militant group in Syria, saying Washington better pull itself together, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
“The US, our ally in NATO who we thought of as a strategic partner for a long time, better pull itself together and make a real decision,” Yıldırım said during a joint press conference with his Macedonian counterpart, Zoran Zaev, in Ankara.
“America should see that it does not comport with the dignity of a state to fight terrorism by making alliances with terrorist organizations. It is good if they see it. If not, we will continue to do what we’re doing,” added Yıldırım.
Underlining that Turkey would continue to take the necessary steps to end the threat of terrorism in Afrin and other areas of Syria, Yıldırım said: “We do not need permission from anyone. We will use all the opportunities that international law affords us.”
Turkey strongly criticizes the US for its support of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria. The Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters on Jan. 20 launched Operation Olive Branch in the Afrin region of Syria against the PYD, which Turkey sees as the Syrian extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Yıldırım’s remarks came ahead of a visit by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Ankara.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also on Monday warned Washington that relations with the US are close to breaking.
“Ties with the US are at a very critical point. We will either fix these relations, or they will break completely,” Çavuşoğlu told reporters on the sidelines of a Turkish-African meeting in Istanbul.