Ilnur Cevik, the chief adviser to Turkish President Erdogan has made a sensational claim during an interview on the Turkish radio station CRI-FM.
Due to recent Turkish attacks on Kurdish led SDF fighters in Syria, America which is a strong ally of the Kurds, has positioned US forces in Syria between Kurdish and Turkish forces to act as a buffer zone between the two opposing parties.
The Turkish Presidential adviser was asked by the interviewer,
“What will you say to the US? They’ve served as a shield for the terrorists from the Kurdistan Worker’s Party. They’ve become a shield so that we cannot strike them”?
“The fact that they (US troops) went there doesn’t mean anything. If the PKK terrorists continue to operate in Turkey – and as you know, they are leaking in through northern Syria. They are infiltrating into our country through that region”
“What happened to Daesh (ISIS)? One night we suddenly went (after ISIS); we ended up in El-Bab. The same applies to northern Syria. If our forces push far enough, and US armoured vehicles are already there…You may see several missiles accidentally hitting them”.
This extraordinary quote claims that Turkish forces ended up illegally occupying El-Bab because Turkey was effectively chasing ISIS deeper into Syria, something which Turkey has no international mandate to do.
The second part of the quote which if anything is even more extraordinary, implies that Turkey is willing to risk hitting US forces in its war against Kurdish groups.
At this point, the interviewer tried to restrain Erdogan’s adviser, saying,
“…you have expressed yourself in a very severe manner”.
Like Erdogan, rather than backing out of a rhetorical black-hole, Cevik re-asserted his earlier statement. He replied,
“If they act in this way, what would you do”.
Thus far the United States has not responded to these remarks, but could one imagine the reaction if for example, a North Korean adviser to Kim Jong-Un hypothetically said,
“In patrolling the Demilitarised Zone, some of our soldiers may accidentally fire shots at US troops”.
One can almost hear the sound of Tomahawk missiles being loaded into their launchers.
This irresponsible and provocative statement from a high level adviser to Turkey’s ultra-powerful President ought to be met with condemnation from the United States.