Turkey accuses US of hypocrisy as it joins Russia for further military action in Syria

Recep Tayyip Erdogan said his nation was ready with Russia to send more troops because it was the only way to defeat Isis and Kurdish fighters in the war-torn country.

Strengthening of ties with Moscow is a blow to the US, which sees Turkey as a key strategic partner in the region.

The country is a part of the US-led coalition against Isis but ties have become strained over Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish militia YPG.

Despite Mr Erdogan insisting he and Donald Trump are “friends” the partnership was further tested in May when Turkish security officials were involved in street fighting with protesters during a visit to Washington.

Speaking to the Bloomberg Global Business Forum in New York, Mr Erdogan bragged the Turkish army on the Syrian border was “ready for a mission at any moment”.

The president claimed his attempts to tackle the Syrian problem had been repeatedly frustrated by the US under Barack Obama’s administration.


Mr Erdogan insisted he and Russia were “achieving a result” by taking military action in the country and the issue would be discussed with Vladimir Putin when the two leaders meet in two weeks.

Turkey will now deploy troops in Syria’s northern Idlib region as part of a so-called de-escalation agreement brokered by Russia last month.

He said: “Under the agreement, Russians are maintaining security outside Idlib and Turkey will maintain the security inside Idlib region.

“The task is not easy. With Putin we will discuss additional steps needed to be taken in order to eradicate terrorists once and for all to restore peace.”

Mr Erdogan also accused the US of double standards for its failure to extradite a cleric based in the country, Fethullah Gulen, who he accuses of orchestrating a failed coup last year.

Mr Gulen denies any involvement in the July 2016 coup attempt, during which more than 240 people were killed.

But the president said: “Gulen’s entire network is being run from the United States. Terrorists should not be harboured here. We need US assistance on this matter.”

It comes after Mr Erdogan hit out at the EU about his country’s stalled application to join the bloc, saying it had turned into a wrestling match with Brussels.

He said: “We’ve never run away from the mat.

“Let them be the ones to do it. Let them take the decision.”

Mr Erdogan went on: “Things never went well for the last 54 years regarding Turkey’s EU membership.

“We have been lingering at the doorstep of the EU and things have got worse. They have never kept their promises”

Speaking about Germany, he added: “I am quite hopeful relations will improve.

“We have no problem with the German public. We have a problem with some officials’ wrong attitude against Turkey.


Source  www.express.co.uk


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