ANKARA, Turkey (AP) – The Turkish foreign minister on Wednesday accused Russia and the United States of breaking their promises to prevent Syrian Kurdish militias from attacking Turkey. He said Ankara was obligated to act to eliminate the threat accordingly.
Mevlut Cavusoglu’s comments come days after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey was losing patience after a series of Syrian attacks targeting his country. He suggested that Turkey could make another military incursion into Syria.
Turkey has already carried out numerous military offensives in Syria to drive Kurdish militias from its border.
Turkey blamed a series of recent attacks on Turkish targets in Syria on the militia of the US-backed Kurdish People’s Protection Units, or YPG. Turkey sees the YPG as the Syrian offshoot of outlaw Kurdish militants fighting government forces in Turkey. The group was also the main ally of the United States in the fight against the Islamic State group.
“Russia and the United States bear responsibility for the recent attacks against civilians in this region and against us because they have broken their word,” Cavusoglu said at a joint press conference with his Nicaraguan counterpart visiting.
He was referring to separate agreements Turkey made with the United States and Russia in 2019 for the withdrawal of the YPG militia from areas of Syria close to the border with Turkey.
“We will do whatever it takes to drive these terrorists out of these areas,” Cavusoglu said.
On Sunday, two Turkish policemen were killed in a guided missile attack in Aleppo which was blamed on the YPG. The United States condemned the aggression. A Turkish soldier was also killed in a similar attack on October 7.
Earlier this week, mortar shells reportedly fired by the YPG from Syria’s Jarablus region landed in the Turkish border town of Karkamis, damaging a house. Syrian Kurdish forces have denied any involvement.
Cavusoglu called Washington’s condemnation of the police attack insincere.
“The United States made a statement saying that it condemns the attacks on our allies from Syria. But who gives them these weapons? Who trains these terrorists? Cavusoglu said. “The lack of sincerity here is clear. They don’t keep their word. “