Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has made a rather serious accusation against the United States on Tuesday that may actually have a bit of merit to it.
According to Reuters, Erdogan claimed during a news conference in Ankara, Turkey, that the U.S.-led coalition battling the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria has actually been, perhaps unwittingly, giving support to terrorist groups, such as the aforementioned Islamic State group jihadists, as well as the Kurdish YPG and PYD militias, which Turkey also considers terror organizations.
“They were accusing us of supporting Daesh,” Erdogan stated, using the Arabic term for the Islamic State group, with “they” being the U.S. “Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It’s very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos and videos.”
The U.K. Independent noted that, while it remained unclear just what sort of “evidence” Erodgan had to back up his assertion, it was nevertheless true that U.S.-led forces had worked side-by-side with some of the rebel groups battling the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad, which would include the Kurdish militias.
Though U.S. forces most likely haven’t intentionally armed or supported known terrorist outfits like the Islamic State group, there have been numerous reports in the past few years of jihadists gaining possession of U.S. arms and supplies by capturing groups outfitted with the U.S. materials, though rebel groups voluntarily handing it over as they switch their allegiances in the Syrian civil war, by intercepting shipments or airdrops, or simply by purchasing them on the international black market.
Furthermore, WND recently reported on a number of government documents made public via both WikiLeaks and the Judicial Watch watchdog group which seem to support Erdogan’s claim.
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks stated in an interview during the summer that some of the documents contained in the “Hillary Clinton Email Archive” seemed to indicate at least some American involvement in the flow of weapons from Libya to Syria, weapons that inevitably ended up in the hands of militant jihadists.
“So, for example, the disastrous, absolutely disastrous intervention in Libya, the destruction of the Gadhafi government, which led to the occupation of ISIS of large segments of that country, weapons flows going over to Syria, being pushed by Hillary Clinton, into jihadists within Syria, including ISIS, that’s there in those emails,” Assange explained.
Judicial Watch has also released dozens of government documents that appear to support that notion as well.
Their Department of Defense documents, obtained via Freedom of Information Act requests, did indeed show a U.S. hand in the effort at gathering up weapons in Libya following the fall of Qaddafi, to be shipped to Syria via Turkey, ostensibly to arm what were then considered “moderate” Syrian rebel groups, with Benghazi being something of a funnel through which the weapons flowed.
It remained to be seen if Erdogan will release any of the “pictures, photos and videos” he claimed were evidence of the U.S. arming and supporting terrorist groups, but we will certainly let our readers know if he does.