Turkey: Pompeo comment on Kurds shows ‘worrying lack of knowledge’

The US is speaking to Turkey to ensure it does not ‘slaughter’ Kurds in Syria as American troops leave, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. (AFP)
Updated 04 January 2019

Turkey: Pompeo comment on Kurds shows ‘worrying lack of knowledge’

ANKARA: Turkey on Friday hit out at US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for saying Washington will ensure Ankara does not “slaughter” Kurds in Syria as American troops withdraw.
“Pompeo equating the YPG terror organization with Kurds, even if it is not intentional, shows a worrying lack of knowledge,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement. Ankara views the US-backed Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia as a “terrorist offshoot” of insurgents inside Turkey.


Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

Updated 26 min 53 sec ago

Eastern Libya forces say 16 Turkish soldiers killed in fighting

BENGHAZI: Forces loyal to Libyan eastern-based commander Khalifa Haftar said on Sunday they had killed 16 Turkish soldiers in recent weeks, a day after Turkey acknowledged it had lost several "martyrs" in combat in the north African country.
Khalid al-Mahjoub, a spokesman for Haftar's Libya National Army (LNA), said the Turks were killed in the port city of Misrata, in battles in Tripoli and in the town of al-Falah south of the capital.
Turkey backs Libya's weak internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) and has sent Syrian soldiers along with some of its own soldiers and weapons.
Haftar's forces are backed by the United Arab Emirates and Egypt.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday acknowleged some Turkish losses in Libya's "struggle".
"We are there (in Libya) with our (Turkish) soldiers and our teams from the Syrian National Army. We continue the struggle there. We have several martyrs. In return, however, we neutralized nearly a hundred (of Haftar's) legionaries," Erdogan said.
The Syrian National Army, also known as Free Syrian Army, is a Turkey-backed Syrian rebel group fighting against pro-Damascus forces in northern Syria, where 16 Turkish soldiers have been killed so far this month.
The deployment of Turkish soldiers and sophisticated air defences has erased small gains made by the LNA with the help of Russian mercenaries, returning the frontline roughly to where it was at start of Haftar's campaign in April 2019.
Ceasefire talks between Libya's warring sides resumed on Thursday after the GNA had pulled out of negotiations following the shelling of Tripoli's port by Haftar's forces.