26th January 2023 – (Washington) Former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s allegations against Türkiye in his new book contain “false information, exaggeration, and double standards,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Thursday.
“It is a pity that the book said the Turkish army does not have the capacity to defeat Daesh (the Islamic State),” Cavusoglu told a press conference that was also attended by visiting Thai Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Don Pramudwinai.
“The only army fighting close combat against Daesh was the Turkish army. While we were clearing the north of Syria from Daesh, the U.S. sent the YPG and Daesh members to Afghanistan by planes and buses during Pompeo’s tenure. They are responsible for the attacks in Afghanistan,” Cavusoglu said.
The Turkish minister said he believed Pompeo’s purpose to write the book was to propel him to the U.S. presidency.
Ankara considers the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, the United States and the European Union and has rebelled against the Turkish government for over three decades.
Pompeo, who served as U.S. secretary of state between 2018 and 2021, said in his book “Never Give an Inch: Fighting for the America I Love” that he was worried that Ankara’s plan to fight against the IS could lead to ethnic cleansing of the Kurds in Syria.
Ties between the two NATO member states have long been strained due to U.S. military support to the YPG, which cooperated with Washington in carrying out operations against the IS.
The Turkish army launched Operation Euphrates Shield in 2016, Operation Olive Branch in 2018, Operation Peace Spring in 2019, and Operation Spring Shield in 2020 in northern Syria targeting both the IS and the YPG groups