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4 Jan, 2019 17:09

Ankara ridicules Pompeo’s ‘lack of knowledge’ after US vows to protect Syrian Kurds from ‘slaughter’

Ankara ridicules Pompeo’s ‘lack of knowledge’ after US vows to protect Syrian Kurds from ‘slaughter’

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo showed a “worrying lack of knowledge” when he said the US would prevent Turkey from “slaughtering” Kurds in Syria, Ankara said, adding that his remarks paint all Kurds as terrorists.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy offered a creative interpretation of Pompeo’s comments, saying that the US secretary of state had erroneously conflated all Kurds with the YPG – which Ankara views as a terrorist organization.

The purported generalization is an indicator of Pompeo’s “worrying lack of knowledge” on the subject, according to Aksoy. The spokesman also strongly condemned the US for viewing the YPG as an ally in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

The YPG is the backbone of "Syrian Democratic Forces" a US-backed militia operating in northeastern Syria.

On Thursday, Pompeo said that “the importance of ensuring that the Turks don’t slaughter the Kurds” was “still part of the American mission” in Syria, even as the US military prepares to pull out of the country.

Radically different views of Kurdish militias in northern Syria have strained relations between Washington and Ankara. Reuters recently revealed that the Pentagon is considering allowing Kurdish fighters to keep their US-supplied weapons after American forces withdraw from Syria – breaking a promise to their Turkish NATO ally.

Also on rt.com Kurdish YPG calls on Syrian government to protect Manbij from Turkish attack

US national security adviser John Bolton is traveling to Turkey and Israel next week, seeking to smooth over any feathers ruffled by President Donald Trump's announcement of US withdrawal.

Following the Kurdish-led liberation of Manbij from Islamic State in August 2016, Turkey invaded Syria in a military operation dubbed ‘Euphrates Shield’, capturing a swath of territory in the north.

Ankara has continued to insist on a Kurdish withdrawal beyond the Euphrates ever since – and has signaled that it plans to launch another operation against the “terrorists” once US forces leave the region. The Turkish military and its proxies have been accused of committing serious abuses against Kurds in northern Syria.

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