Turkey accuses Biden administration of not telling the truth to Congress

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has accused the Biden administration of not telling the truth to the Congress on Ankara's Syria policies.

Duvar English - Anadolu Agency

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden is not telling the truth while sending letters to the Congress or informing its people, Turkey's foreign minister said on Oct. 9 in response to Washington's decision to extend the national emergency executive order in Syria.

"Instead of blaming Turkey, the U.S. should abandon its own wrong policies, and should be more honest with the American people and its Congress," Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said during a joint news conference with his visiting Venezuelan counterpart Felix Plasencia.

The U.S. on Oct. 7 extended the state of emergency decree issued in 2019 for another year, saying that Turkey’s actions in Syria require a continued national security response.

“The situation in and in relation to Syria, and in particular the actions by the government of Turkey to conduct a military offensive into northeast Syria, undermines the campaign to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, endangers civilians, and further threatens to undermine the peace, security, and stability in the region, and continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” Biden said in a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Çavuşoğlu, who described the letter as a "copy-paste," said the U.S. administration had previously used the same sentences.

"The reason for this is the U.S.' cooperation with the YPG terrorist organization, which the U.S. takes very seriously," he said, referring to the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria.

Turkey accepts the YPG as a terrorist organization due to it being the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK). 

"We know very well that the purpose of being here is not to fight ISIS," the minister said, claiming that this position is illegal under U.S. law.

"We have fought ISIS. The only army that is fighting against it is our army in NATO and the world."

Around 4,000 jihadists have been killed as a result of this struggle, he said, adding that Turkey is supporting the international efforts by taking measures against "foreign terrorists."

He went on to say that the Syria and Iraq policies of the U.S., as well as all of its policies, are discussed in Europe and NATO. All of these policies are implemented without a plan and foresight, he added.

Since 2016, Ankara has launched three operations across its border in northern Syria against the YPG-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF): Euphrates Shield (2016), Olive Branch (2018), and Peace Spring (2019).