Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Tuesday accused the US-led coalition forces of supporting terrorist organizations the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the People’s Defense Units (YPG), saying Turkish troops will not retreat from an operation against ISIL in the Syrian city of al-Bab.
“They were accusing us of supporting Daesh [ISIL]. Now they have all disappeared. To the contrary, they give support to terrorist organizations, including Daesh, the PYD, the YPG. All are explicit. We have registered documents of everything with photographs and videos,” said Erdoğan during a joint press conference with Guinea’s President Alpha Cond in Ankara.
Criticizing coalition forces for failing to keep promises they made about helping Turkey fight against ISIL in Syria, Erdoğan said: “Either they support us or they don’t, but we will continue on our path decisively. We will not deviate from that path.”
“Either way, we will fulfill our duty. We have given martyrs, and that hurt us, but we will not be back again.”
With the death of two more soldiers injured in an attack on Wednesday carried out by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria’s al-Bab region, the number of Turkish soldiers killed during Turkey’s Operation Euphrates Shield, which began in August, has increased to 40.