Turkey on Friday criticized recent remarks by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Turkey's role in ensuring Syria's security and territorial integrity.
Turkey rejects both the content and the tone of Pompeo's remarks, in which he said to protect Kurds from upcoming Turkish offensive in east of the Euphrates, Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a written statement.
"Pompeo's confusing over the YPG terror organisation with Kurds, if it is not intentional, shows a worrying lack of knowledge," the statement said.
Aksoy's remarks came a day after Pompeo, in a television interview, addressed the U.S. withdrawal from Syria, and mentioned what he called "the importance of ensuring that the Turks don't slaughter the Kurds, the protection of religious minorities there in Syria. All of those things are still part of the American mission set."
Turkey will continue to fight against YPG/PYD/PKK and Islamic State, which threaten Syria's political unity and territorial integrity, and pose an existential threat to its national security, Aksoy said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to launch a cross-border operation against the YPG in northern Syria, vowing that Ankara would never allow a "terror corridor" on its southern border and would rid Syria of the militia.
Turkey has long objected to the U.S. viewing the Syrian Kurdish militias, mainly YPG, as allies against extremist groups, saying using one terror group to fight another makes no sense. Enditem