Erdogan: Real concern for US is oil, not people

The US acted despite opposition from Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says, adding "I told him (Obama) Kobani is not currently a strategic place for you, if anything it is strategic for us"

Erdogan: Real concern for US is oil, not people

"Terrorist Kurds" fighting in Syria are reluctant to accept help from Iraqi Kurds, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Thursday.

"The terrorist group could barely agree to allowing the peshmerga in. After that, they said they want no more than 200 soldiers. Why? Because they fear to lose their monopoly of power in Kobani," Erdogan explained at a news conference while on a visit to the Latvian capital, Riga.

Turkey criticized the U.S. for its military aid to the outlawed Kurdish Democratic Union Party on Monday, saying that would mean arming "terrorists," Erdogan recalled at the press conference.

"Why is Kobani so important? Where were the rest of the world while Daraa, Idlib, Hama or Homs was burning?" Erdogan asked.

"There are no civilians left in Kobani, only about 2,000 PYD fighters," he added, using an abbreviation for the Kurdish party. 

The Kurdish Democratic Union Party is affiliated with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, which has waged a decades-long separatist fight with the Turkish army. The PKK is considered a terrorist group by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union.

Turkey started a "solution process" in early 2013 to put an end to the conflict, achieving an ongoing two-year lull in the fighting. The Democratic Union Party is in conflict with the other Kurdish groups in the region, including the Kurdistan Regional Government in Iraq.

The Turkish president also criticized the West's long-term inaction with respect to the conflicts in Syria and Iraq, pointing out that when the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant threat arose, it was too late to intervene.

"Neither the UN, nor the EU, nor other countries, nor any international organizations took any precautions while [former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-] Maliki was applying sectarian policies. The same groups ignored the situation in Syria as well," he said.

"But as soon as ISIL started capturing the oil-wells, the fight started. One can't help but think that the real concern was oil, not the people. And the largest part of the Iraqi oil belongs to the West."

Erdogan, while noting that U.S. airstrikes against ISIL have been partially effective, noted that "ISIL is still dominant in Iraq, still controls one third of its territory."

"It is impossible to capture any territory so long as you don't support your air campaign with a ground operation. And you cannot permanently keep the territories that you own only through airstrikes," he said.

A U.S.-led international airstrike campaign started to hit ISIL targets in Iraq and Syria, as of August 8 and September 20, respectively.

The airstrikes, supported mostly by European countries in Iraq and by a coalition of Arab states in Syria has made partial progress in holding back ISIL's advance.

Turkey originated the proposal to form a safe haven inside Syria to halt the massive refugee flows into its territory, one which would be supported by a no-fly zone to protect the civilians from Syrian regime airstrikes. Turkish policy indicates that this approach would be more successful in dealing with both ISIL and Assad regime in Syria. U.S. policy takes as a priority the destruction of ISIL and does not include attacks on the Assad regime.  

Criticism of the UN Security Council

Turkey has on several occasions criticized the structure of the UN Security Council for its failure to act in severe crises such as the one in Syria. The UN Security Council has five permanent members: U.S., U.K., France, Russia and China. 

"The world is bigger than five," Erdogan reiterated in his speech, criticizing the extraordinary powers the UN Security Council permanent members were donated. 

"World War II has been left behind. The UN needs reforming. Permanent members do not really represent the global voices," Erdogan said.

The council is the sole legitimate one to apply sanctions or military force in severe crisis. However, Russia, the staunchest ally of the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, and China, have several times used their veto power on draft proposals that sought military action against Syrian government regime.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Ekim 2014, 23:55