Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Erdogan: US supporting terrorists in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has once again criticized the United States’ support for ‘terrorist organizations’ in Syria.

Commenting on the presence of the United States and Russia in war-torn Syria, Erdogan drew attention to the fact that both countries have military bases in the country.

He also criticized Washington’s support for terrorist organizations, referring to the PKK’s Syrian wing, the YPG.

He underlined that the US continued support for the YPG cannot be ignored and that it was a topic in his talks with US President Joe Biden.

“They have significantly supported terrorist organizations in our south, the northeast of Syria, through thousands of trucks of arms and ammunition,” the president added.

The US has primarily partnered with the YPG in northern Syria to fight Daesh. Turkey strongly opposes the YPG’s presence in northern Syria, a major sticking point in strained Ankara-Washington relations. The US has provided military training and truckloads of weaponry to the YPG, despite its NATO ally’s security concerns.

The president noted that the US claims it is withdrawing from the country and not supporting terrorist groups, but stressed that this is not true.

“Similarly, Russia is also not withdrawing. If Russia had withdrawn support for Syria, (Bashar) Assad would not be standing now,” he continued.

Russia joined Syria’s now 10-year conflict in September 2015. Moscow has since helped tip the balance of power in favor of Assad, whose forces now control much of the country. Hundreds of Russian troops are deployed across Syria, and they also have a military air base along Syria’s Mediterranean coast.

Russia is the main ally of the Syrian government, while Turkey supports groups that have fought to unseat Assad.

Russia is helping Damascus’s legitimate government eliminate terrorists and is encouraging the Syrian sides to establish political dialogue. Unlike Russia, the United States and Turkey are present in Syria with no invitation from that country’s government.

Syrian officials have urged the US and Turkey to immediately withdraw its forces from the Arab country.

On Tuesday, deputy head of the Russian Center for the Reconciliation of Warring Parties in Syria said terrorists from the Idlib de-escalation zone are planning, according to the Syrian authorities, terrorist attacks in the ports of Tartus and Latakia.

“According to information from the Syrian security authorities, sabotage and terrorist groups of radical gangs from the Idlib de-escalation zone are planning terrorist attacks in the ports of Tartus and Latakia,” Rear Adm. Oleg Zhuravlev noted.

He added that in accordance with the appeal of the Syrian authorities, the command of Russian airbase Hmeimim organized round-the-clock patrols. Military police units patrol the seaport and the adjacent territory of the city of Latakia. He specified that the police use Patrul and Tigr armored vehicles.

According to Zhuravlev, the movement of units from the air is controlled by unmanned aerial vehicles of the Russian Aerospace Forces.

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