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Turkish minister says US turned Syria, Iraq into ‘laboratory of terrorism’

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Turkish Interior Minister Süleyman Soylu on Friday said the US has turned Syria and Iraq into a “laboratory of terrorism,” accusing the NATO ally of collaborating with terrorist groups in these countries, the T24 news website reported.

“[The US] has been bargaining with terrorist organizations over oil reserves in Iraq and Syria, saying ‘75 percent of it will be mine and you’ll get 25 percent’,” Soylu said during a symposium at a police academy in Antalya.

Soylu stated that Turkey was ninth in terms of countries that have been affected by terrorist activity.

Turkish authorities believe the People’s Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish militia in northern Syria, is an offshoot of the terrorist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Turkey.

Officials frequently level criticism of the US for an alliance with the YPG in a coalition fighting Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists.

Soylu claimed Turkey, Iraq and Iran had acted together against an independence referendum in northern Iraq in 2017 and disappointed the US and Europe, which supported the creation of a Kurdish state in the region.

According to Soylu, the YPG’s control of northern Syria is another attempt to “surround Turkey” with terrorist elements.

“Turkey sent a strong message to the world by conducting military operations in northern Syria and establishing peace,” Soylu added.

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