26 November 2014 – 14H45
Turkey‘s Erdogan attacks US ‘impertinence’ on Syria
ISTANBUL (AFP) –
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday slammed US “impertinence” on the Syrian conflict, exposing the extent of strains between Washington and Ankara days after his key meeting with US Vice President Joe Biden.
Ties between the the US and Turkey have soured in recent months over the reluctance of Turkish leaders to intervene militarily in the US-led campaign against the Islamic State jihadists, who have taken control of swathes of Iraq and Syria.
In an indication of the tensions that remain between the two NATO allies, Erdogan accused the US of being “impertinent” for pressuring it to help save the besieged Syrian town of Kobane, which is within sight of the Turkish border.
“Why is somebody coming to this region from 12,000 kilometres (7,000 miles) away?” Erdogan said during an address to a group of businessmen in Ankara, in a clear reference to the US.
“I want you to know that we are against impertinence, recklessness and endless demands,” he said.
Biden had personally stung Erdogan last month by suggesting his policies in supporting Islamist rebel forces in Syria had helped encourage the rise of the IS militant group, a slight that prompted Erdogan to warn his relationship with the US number two could be “history”.
Washington is pressing Ankara for the use of the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey by US jets launching assaults on IS.