To Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ απέρριψε τις «αστείες», όπως χαρακτήρισε, κατηγορίες που προέβη νωρίτερα σήμερα ο Τούρκος πρόεδρος Ρετζέπ Ταγίπ Ερντογάν ότι οι δυνάμεις του δυτικού συνασπισμού υπό την ηγεσία των ΗΠΑ στηρίζουν τρομοκρατικές οργανώσεις στην Συρία.
Αναφέρθηκε συγκεκριμένα στο Ισλαμικό Κράτος, στους Κούρδους μαχητές των Μονάδων Προστασίας του Λαού (YPG) και στο κόμμα Δημοκρατικής Ένωσης (PYD).
Ο εκπρόσωπος του Στέιτ Ντιπάρτμεντ Μαρκ Τόνερ δήλωσε πως δεν υπάρχει καμία βάση για μια τέτοια κατηγορία.
Παράλληλα ο Τόνερ δήλωσε ότι οι ΗΠΑ δεν προμηθεύουν φορητά συστήματα αντιαεροπορικής άμυνας σε δυνάμεις της συριακής αντιπολίτευσης.
Νωρίτερα σήμερα το ρωσικό υπουργείο Εξωτερικών ανακοίνωσε ότι θεωρεί «εχθρική ενέργεια», η οποία απειλεί την ασφάλεια των ρωσικών μαχητικών αεροσκαφών και του στρατιωτικού προσωπικού, την απόφαση των ΗΠΑ να χαλαρώσουν τους περιορισμούς στην προμήθεια όπλων στους σύρους αντάρτες.
Ο Τούρκος πρόεδρος είχε δηλώσει σε συνέντευξη Τύπου πως έχει στην διάθεση του αποδεικτικά στοιχεία ότι ο διεθνής συνασπισμός δυνάμεων υπό την ηγεσία των ΗΠΑ παρέχει στήριξη σε τρομοκρατικές οργανώσεις. ΕΔΩ ΤΟ ΡΕΠΟΡΤΑΖ
ΣΤΟ ΜΕΤΑΞΥ: Το ρωσικό υπουργείο Εξωτερικών ανακοίνωσε ότι θεωρεί “εχθρική ενέργεια”, η οποία απειλεί την ασφάλεια των ρωσικών μαχητικών αεροσκαφών και του στρατιωτικού προσωπικού, την απόφαση των ΗΠΑ να χαλαρώσουν τους περιορισμούς στην προμήθεια όπλων στους σύρους αντάρτες, μετέδωσε το πρακτορείο ειδήσεων RIA. ΕΔΩ ΤΟ ΡΕΠΟΡΤΑΖ
Ουάσινγκτον, United States
ΟΙ ΕΡΩΤΗΣΕΙΣ ΚΑΙ ΟΙ ΑΠΑΝΤΗΣΕΙΣ ΣΤΗΝ ΕΝΗΜΕΡΩΣΗ ΓΙΑ ΤΗΝ ΤΟΥΡΚΙΑ ΚΑΙ ΤΟΝ ΕΡΝΤΟΓΑΝ
QUESTION: Thick skin question – the diplomacy.
MR TONER: Oh, thick skin. Yeah, sure.
QUESTION: Before we – do we have a time for the speech tomorrow?
MR TONER: I think it will be late morning; I don’t have a time specific. We’ll put that all in the notice to press. It’s a fair point. I deliberately fudged that because I don’t have a certain time. I wanted to announce his speech, but I don’t have it.
I’m sorry, your question was about —
QUESTION: President Erdogan’s remarks, yeah.
MR TONER: Yeah, I mean, it’s ludicrous, to be honest. No basis for truth, as you can all imagine. I don’t think anyone could look at our actions on the ground leading the coalition in northern Syria, in Iraq and say anything other than that we’re 100 percent behind the defeat, destruction of Daesh, and even beyond Syria and Iraq, seeing its networks dismantled, destroyed around the region – or outside of the region around the world. I can give you a rundown on what we’re doing. You don’t need to hear it. You know what we’re doing in terms of the coalition, and in fact, we’re working constructively with Turkey to lead those efforts. And Turkey is playing a part and we have constant dialogue and discussion with Turkey about how we can better leverage both of our efforts.
QUESTION: Did you contact with the Turkish officials?
MR TONER: I don’t know – you mean regarding these remarks?
QUESTION: Regarding these remarks.
MR TONER: I don’t know. Honestly, I didn’t have time to check on it.
MR TONER: I’ll take – I’ll see if we’ve made contact.
QUESTION: So the point – yeah, the point is al-Bab. I mean, he’s criticizing coalition for not supporting the Turkish armed forces’ offensive in al-Bab. I mean, do you have any reason why the coalition is not support Turkey in this operation?
MR TONER: Sorry, you’re talking about al-Bab?
MR TONER: Yeah. Sorry, I’m hitting the mike. I apologize. I mean, a couple of things. First of all, we’re obviously in close contact and discussion, dialogue, near constant with the Turks about their efforts in northern Syria. They’ve been very efficient and very successful. We’re talking about them about how – we’re talking to them about how we can support them more closely. Brett McGurk is in contact with them. I don’t know when he was last in Turkey, but it was fairly recently.
We’re aware that it’s a tough fight that they’re facing, and that’s all being still discussed. We have provided support to Turkey for operations to clear its border of ISIL, and that support is ongoing. But as I said, they’re now driving on al-Bab. It’s a tough fight. We’re talking about – to them about how we can help them in their efforts. I don’t have anything to announce. I’d have to refer you to the Department of Defense to —
QUESTION: But would you advise them to hold back from al-Bab until you’re ready to help them? It seems that they’re going to fight —
MR TONER: That’s their – I mean, look, that’s – David, that’s – far be it for us to provide strategic military advice or tactical military advice to the Turks.
QUESTION: But you just said you’re members of the same coalition.
MR TONER: Well, I understand that. But I’m just saying, like, that we support their efforts. We have supported their efforts along the border to clear it of ISIL. We’re in dialogue with them about possible next steps we can take in terms of al-Bab. I mean, and we don’t – certainly don’t want to see them enter into al-Bab without sufficient support. But again, these are discussions we have on a daily basis with the Turks.
QUESTION: How many —
QUESTION: Doesn’t that relate to Turkey’s attacks on U.S. – the U.S. ally, the YPG, as in Manbij, and at that point there were all sorts of tensions developed between the United States and Turkey, and the U.S. military let it be known that Turkey had gone past what was authorized in al-Bab? But the core of it was Turkish attacks on the U.S. ally, the YPG, fighting in northern Syria and around Manbij and other areas. Wasn’t that the core of the problem?
MR TONER: Well, we have – you’re right in that Turkey has – and they’re partner forces, which is I think what you’re referring to – have made progress in securing the border and liberating large swaths of the area, a number of towns and villages. And as I said, they’re driving on al-Bab. We’re mindful, of course, of some of the tensions that exist obviously between these Turkish-supported forces and the YPG and other forces that we’ve been supporting in that area, and those are tensions – again, that’s the reason why we’re working closely, having these discussions, and trying to coordinate with them.
QUESTION: (Inaudible) if you want U.S. support, you shouldn’t attack U.S. allies?
MR TONER: No, there’s no —
QUESTION: No lesson?
MR TONER: No. (Laughter.) Look, no, I don’t want to give that impression at all. Turkey is a NATO ally and a strong partner in the anti-Daesh coalition. I certainly don’t want to give the impression that we’re trying to send a message.
QUESTION: Can we press you just a little bit on —
QUESTION: So the President himself (inaudible) then?
MR TONER: (Laughter.) I won’t touch that.
QUESTION: Could I just press you on what Erdogan said? I mean, he – he was very clear. He said U.S.-led coalition forces give support to terrorist groups including ISIS, including YPG, PYD. They were accusing —
MR TONER: Well, look, I mean —
QUESTION: Wait a minute. They
MR TONER: Okay. So let’s —
QUESTION: They were accusing us of supporting Daesh.
MR TONER: So let’s – let me address that.
QUESTION: I mean, he was very clear.
MR TONER: Sure. Let me address that. So we do provide tactical support to the Syrian Democratic Forces. There’s no surprise there. We’ve been very transparent about that. That’s to help us all achieve our shared goal of defeating Daesh. The Syrian Democratic Forces have, as we’ve said many times, proven to be a very capable force against Daesh, and our support for them – again, our tactical support for them will continue. As we’ve also said before, we’ve never provided weapons to the YPG. And we have provided equipment to vetted Arab elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces. This equipment has – (cell phone rings). Someone’s waking up? This equipment has included ammunition and other tactical equipment to assist the coalition’s counter-ISIL operations. But let me be clear that we reject any group providing support to the PKK or enabling its terrorist campaign within Turkey.
QUESTION: Or Daesh. Because he’s saying that you guys gave support to Daesh.
MR TONER: Daesh – I said that from the outright. That’s just ludicrous. I don’t know where that comes from.
QUESTION: Two more questions. Two —
QUESTION: Okay, is it about Turkey?
QUESTION: Yes. Same subject. Thank you, Mark. Today there are some reports that Russia in these – gave some air support around al-Bab. Do you have any information on that?
MR TONER: I don’t. I don’t have any information on that. I mean, I’ll look into it, but obviously the Russians and Turks have been talking, talking about coordination, but I don’t have anything to confirm.
QUESTION: In the past, very recent past, you defined these Turkey moves around al-Bab as uncoordinated and not constructive. Do you still see al-Bab offense as uncoordinated and not constructive, or what’s your view on it?
MR TONER: No, I’d say now we’re in regular discussions with Turkey on the operations around al-Bab. We want to help it defeat Daesh. I think there was a recent visit by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs – excuse me – Dunford, who met with Turkish chief of staff – or chief of defense, excuse me. And as I said, Special Envoy McGurk, Brett McGurk, also visited Ankara before the holidays to talk about the overall campaign to defeat Daesh. So I can’t – I don’t want to discuss ongoing operations, but we’re obviously coordinating with them.
QUESTION: Mark —
QUESTION: One more talking point, that on Turkey pro-government made very awful news and cited that the President-elect Trump stated that the President Obama and his Administration founded ISIS and supported ISIS, so that the Turkey now repeating this. What’s your respond to this allegation?
MR TONER: I don’t know where those claims are coming from. Maybe some comments from the campaign. I honestly don’t know what they’re referring to. I don’t think President-elect Trump has ever made that allegation. And as I said, if he did, it was probably from a long time ago, and I don’t think he’s made it again. But again, I can’t speak for the president-elect’s team.