TURKEY’S President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has warned America its continued support for “terrorists” will dramatically backfire for the world’s most powerful nation, saying it is like “holding on to live grenades with the pins pulled”.
Ankara is furious with Washington for their backing for Syrian Kurdish fighters
Ankara is furious with Washington for their backing for Syrian Kurdish fighters, who have been instrumental in the defeat of ISIS in large parts of the region.
Turkey has also fallen out with NATO over its support for the Kurdish rebels, which it views as a terrorist group.
Mr Erdogan considers the Syrian Kurdish YPG as an extension of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), considered a terror organisation by the European Union as well as Ankara and Washington.
Speaking this morning, President Erdogan fired a warning shot at the US, saying he was looking at establishing closer ties with Russia in the fight against terrorism.
Relations between the US and Turkey have deteriorated since the failed army coup in July, after which President Erdogan demanded America extradite the Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen.
He said Turkey and Washington remained strategic partners but that refusing to return Gulen would not benefit Washington’s foreign policy.
Turkey has also fallen out with NATO over its support for the Kurdish rebels
Fethullah Gulen is in the US
The move follows the bombing of a wedding party in southeast Turkey
The Turkish leader is meeting US Vice President Joe Biden later today for crisis talks after he landed in the capital this morning.
Hours before his arrival, Turkish forces launched a major operation inside Syria to clear ISIS militants out of the Syrian frontier town Jarablus, backed by US-led coalition warplanes.
President Erdogan said the operation was intended to crush ISIS, which was a stain on the religion of Islam.
The move follows the bombing of a wedding party in southeast Turkey which left 54 people dead.
The bombing was the first time warplanes from Turkey have struck in Syria since November, when Turkey downed a Russian jet near the border.