Erdogan accuses US of backing ‘terrorists’ in Iraq

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accuses the United States of siding with “terrorists” after blaming outlawed Kurdish militants for executing 13 Turks in northern Iraq.

Erdogan’s comments come a day after Ankara said Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) rebels killed 13 captives — most of them Turkish soldiers and police officers — they had allegedly abducted in southeast Turkey and kept in an Iraqi cave.

The PKK has been waging an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984 that is believed to have left tens of thousands dead. The United States and Turkey’s other Western allies recognize the PKK as a terror group.

But Washington has supported another Kurdish militia in Syria that Turkey sees as an offshoot of the PKK.

“You said you did not support terrorists, when in fact you are on their side and behind them,” Erdogan says in televised remarks.

President of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures at a press conference in Ankara, Turkey, on September 21, 2020. (Adem ALTAN / AFP)

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