Turkish President Recep Erdogan bashed the Obama administration Wednesday, saying its policy towards Syria has resulted in nothing short of an orgy of violence.
Erdogan pointed additional blame at Washington for refusing to declare a Kurdish organization in Syria a terror group, The New York Times reports.
U.S. policy of attempting to find and support so-called moderate rebel groups against Syrian President Bashar Assad or Islamic State has drawn remarkable criticism from allies. In this case, Erdogan is finding fault with U.S. backing of PYD and PKK, two groups of Kurds fighting against Islamic State in Syria.
Turkey thinks PYD, that is, the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party, is a terrorist organization, along with the PKK, the Kurdistan Worker’s Party. Aside from taking on ISIS, PKK has also fought a long campaign against Turkey.
“Hey, America. Because you never recognized them as a terrorist group, the region has turned into a sea of blood,” Erdogan said bluntly.
“We have written proof!” Erdogan added. “We tell the Americans, ‘It’s a terror group.’ But the Americans stand up and say, ‘No, we don’t see them as terror groups.’”
The Turkish president reiterated it’s virtually impossible to trust America at this point, since according to him, American officials don’t bother informing Turkey of their plans when in talks, but openly reveal them elsewhere.
“Am I your regional partner or are the terrorists in Kobani?” he asked.
Erdogan’s speech was in effect a response to remarks from Department of State spokesman John Kirby, who said the U.S. stands behind Kurdish groups tackling ISIS. Turkey has summoned U.S. Ambassador John Bass to answer for Kirby’s stance.
As far as Erdogan is concerned, Turkey is ready to unilaterally take action against non-Kurdish rebel groups fighting against ISIS by setting up a safe-zone in northern Syria.
Outgoing French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius also added to criticism of the U.S. Fabius said the Obama administration’s ambiguous policy has compounded the conflict in Syria, though he added he does not expect any change before Obama leaves office.