Turkey's western allies arm ''terrorists'' targeting Muslims, says President Erdoğan

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Saturday said western countries supply arms to "terrorists" who target Muslims around the world, Turkish daily Hürriyet reported.

"Those who give weapons to terrorists with blood-soaked hands create unimagined obstacles when Turkey seeks to buy the same weapons," the president said on Saturday in Istanbul during the launch ceremony of a new test and training ship.

"From Daesh (an Arabic acronym for Islamic State) and PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) to al-Qaeda and al Shabaab, all terrorist organisations that shed the blood of Muslims have western weapons in their hands," Erdoğan added.

The Turkish president also said Syrian Kurdish forces People's Protection Units (YPG) and its political wing Democratic Union Party (PYD) had been conducting ethnic cleansing in Syria using the weapons of Turkey-allied countries.

"PYD/YPG murderers, who conduct ethnic cleansing in northern Syria, have the rockets, bombs and ammunition of our allies. Facing such a picture, Turkey cannot wait with its hands tied or delegate its national security to other countries."

Earlier this month, Erdoğan said Ankara would conduct a cross-border operation against the YPG. Turkish army and its ally Free Syrian Army (FSA) have already carried out two military operations on Syrian soil since 2016.

On Thursday, U.S. State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said Turkey should not attack the Syrian Kurds. Earlier in January, U.S. President Donald Trump on Twitter threatened to “devastate Turkey economically” if Ankara attacked the Kurds in Syria.

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