Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at US National Security Advisor John Bolton over his pledges to ensure Turkey’s non-aggression against the US-backed Kurdish militias in northern Syria amid the US planned drawdown of its troops in the country. He made the statement when addressing lawmakers in the Turkish parliament in Ankara on Tuesday.
Erdogan said, “We cannot accept Bolton’s messages given from Israel.” He went on to say that “we will not compromise,” stressing that Bolton made a “serious mistake” after he said that the US would only pull out from Syria if Ankara vows not to attack the US Kurdish allies.
The Turkish president argued that the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) “cannot be representative of my Kurdish brothers,” adding that “they [Washington] don’t know” who these groups are.
Bolton has been touring the Middle East, intended in part to reassure its allies amid the criticism over Washington’s decision to withdraw its troops from Syria. The US national security advisor had talks with Turkish officials on Tuesday; however, Erdogan reportedly refused to meet with Bolton.
Ankara designates the PKK as a terrorist organisation, also denouncing the PYD and the YPG, which it considers to be an arm of the PKK.
Video credit: Ruptly