Turkish foreign minister slams former US Secretary of State Pompeo's allegations in book
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Thursday slammed Mike Pompeo, who served as US secretary of state under then-President Donald Trump, over his allegations on Türkiye in a recently released book, calling his claims "unreal information," News.az reports citing Anadolu agency.
In a joint news conference with Thailand's Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai in the capital Ankara, Cavusoglu said: "First of all, there is unreal information, as I might say in diplomatic language, or you might also define it as a lie. There's an exaggeration, there's a double standard."
On the US support for the terrorist group YPG/PKK in northern Syria – a longtime bone of contention in the Turkish-US ties – Cavusoglu added: "The support they have given to terrorism, which is a serious crime in the US, I think there is also serious disinformation in order not to face a judicial process."
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the EU and the US, and is responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The YPG is the terrorist PKK's Syrian branch.
The US claims it partners with the YPG to fight Daesh/ISIS, while Türkiye says using one terrorist group to fight another makes no sense.
Criticizing Pompeo's claim that the Turkish Armed Forces lack the ability to defeat Daesh/ISIS, Cavusoglu said: "For one thing, this is not a fact, (the idea) that we first engaged with the YPG/PKK during the Trump administration. It started during the term of (President Barack) Obama. Therefore, that was not their decision first and foremost."
He continued: "Secondly, the only NATO army which took part in hand-to-hand fights against Daesh/ISIS terrorists is the Turkish army. We eliminated more than 4,500 Daesh terrorists both in Syria and Iraq."
As the Turkish army was eliminating Daesh/ISIS terrorists, "the US during the term of Pompeo, together with the YPG/PKK terrorist groups, sent Daesh/ISIS members to Afghanistan by first getting them on the bus in Raqqa and that region and then on the planes," he said.
These are the "ones responsible for the terrorist attacks in Afghanistan today, so I'm talking about the attacks of Daesh/ISIS and al-Qaeda," Cavusoglu said, adding the Turkish army cleared an area of 8,000 square kilometers (3,089 miles) of the terrorist groups YPG/PKK and Daesh/ISIS to support the territorial integrity of Syria.