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Turkey, US both supported Daesh: Analyst

28 December 2016 22:20

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s claim that the United States supports Daesh, although true, indicates a deepening confusion in Ankara’s foreign policy, says an American analyst.

James Jatras, a former US diplomat and foreign policy adviser to the Senate, made the remarks while discussing Erdogan’s accusations that the US-led coalition has been supporting the Daesh terrorist group.

“We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos,” said Erdogan.

The US Embassy in Ankara rejected the claims, saying Washington “did not create or support Daesh in the past” and such assertions “are not true.”

Describing Erdogan’s claim as “bizarre” and yet “true,” Jatras said the US has indeed been supplying the terrorist group with weapons and equipment.

“Now, what is strange about Mr. Erdogan’s accusations is that of course Turkey has been supporting terrorist groups, including elements of al-Qaeda, and then there is evidence in the past that also they have been supporting Daesh,” Jatras argued.

The Russian government, which has been carrying out airstrikes against terror groups inside Syria upon a request from Damascus, has on many occasions provided evidence about Turkey’s support for the terrorists.

The US has tried to help the terrorists by airdropping supplies and weapons on militant-held areas. It has also launched a program to train militants fighting the Syrian government.

Jatras said Ankara, just like Washington, has openly sought to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has remained in power despite the years-long conflict.

The analyst added it was not clear why the Turkish president brings up these accusations at a time when Turkish troops are inside Syria, fighting terrorists as well as US-supported Kurdish groups.

“So, I think in one sense this is evidence of further disarray and confusion in Turkish policy and what Mr. Erdogan thinks his options are right now given his estrangement with the United States and Europe,” Jatras further explained.

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