The Turkish government criticized the U.S. government and accused it of a double standard by specifying which terrorist groups are viable targets in Syria and which are not.
The latest statements from Ankara show the Turks are upset by remarks by the U.S. that go to show that the Turkish current operations in Afrin are a violation of the UN’s Syria ceasefire resolution.
Speaking to reporters in Ankara, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said: “Afrin is not mentioned there [in the UN resolution] … Terrorists are all the same, you cannot divide them into bad and good ones. The United States behaves illogically guided by double standards, this cannot be accepted.”
When asked by reporters on Tuesday if Turkey is “violating the UN ceasefire” in Syria, US Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said that she would “encourage Turkey to go back and read the UN resolution.”
The UN Security Council on Saturday, February 24, passed a resolution calling for a 30-day ceasefire in Syria.
Quoting the UN resolution, Heather Nauert said: “[the UN] demands that all parties cease hostilities without delay and engage immediately to ensure full and comprehensive implementation of this demand by all parties for a durable humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syria.”
But Nauert added “It [the resolution] affirms that the cessation of hostilities shall not apply to military operations against the Islamic State of Iraq in the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS), also known as Daesh, al-Qaeda, and al-Nusrah Front, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with al-Qaeda and ISIL and other terror groups as designated by the Security Council.”
“So I think the resolution was clear here in naming exactly which groups are considered to be exempt from the ceasefire.”
Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy spared no words for the U.S. spokeswoman Heather Nauert stating that she either didn’t understand the focal point of the resolution or was deliberately trying to distort it.
The Turks insist that the ceasefire is meant to allay hard hit civilian areas that have been hard-hit by air raids from the Syrian government of Assad and not the counter-terror efforts by the Turks in Afrin.
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