Erdoy-an: US carried out airdrops to Kobani despite Turkish objection.
RyGA (CyHAN)- A US operation to airlift weapons and other supplies to a Syrian Kurdish group defending the besieged town of Kobani took place despite Turkish opposition, President Recep Tayyip Erdoy-an said on Thursday.
Erdoy-an, speaking at a press conference during a visit to Latvia, said he had told US President Barack Obama that the Syrian Kurdish group that would receive the airlifted supplies, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), included leaders of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), a group designated as terrorist one by both Turkey and the United States.
"I have told him [Obama] that the PYD and the PKK are the same. Therefore, assistance to the PYD goes to the terrorist group [the PKK]," Erdoy-an said. "The US did this despite Turkey's objection."
He also repeated that Kobani is not of strategic importance to the US, adding that he has told Obama that if it has any such significance, it is for Turkey, not the US.
Erdoy-an criticized on Wednesday the US airdrop of weapons and other supplies, provided by the Iraqi Kurds, saying it turned out to be "wrong" because some of the supplies were seized by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), which has besieged Kobani for more than a month.
Erdoy-an and Obama spoke on the phone early Monday morning to discuss the situation in Kobani, hours before the airdrops started.
In response to Erdoy-an's criticism, the US State Department said the airdrops were not wrong "at all" and that President Obama has told Erdoy-an that it is "essential to resupply the fighters in Kobani who are in a desperate situation."
Despite the rift over the airdrops, Turkey has agreed to let Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to cross into Kobani via its territory to help in the defense of the town.
Erdoy-an said he had been informed that an agreement was reached for 200 Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters to pass through Turkey.
He also said the PYD had initially objected to the arrival of peshmerga forces into Kobani and later to the number of peshmerga troops that the Iraqi Kurdish authorities proposed to send. (Cihan/Today's Zaman)
LATVyA, RIGA, 23 OCT 2014
Erdogan and Andris Berzins at the press conference
VAR of Erdoy-an's remarks
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|Publication:||Cihan News Agency (CNA)|
|Date:||Oct 23, 2014|
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