Turkish 'astonishment' at US's Syria statement

Foreign Ministry spokesman rejects claim 'that put its ally Turkey and a terrorist organization in the same equation'

Turkish 'astonishment' at US's Syria statement

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey has received a U.S. State Department announcement on Syrian Kurdish forces with “astonishment”, a Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Monday.

Tanju Bilgic's remarks came after U.S. spokesman John Kirby urged Turkey to halt its cross-border artillery fire and called on the terrorist PYD group and its affiliated forces “not to take advantage of a confused situation by seizing new territory”.

"We have received Kirby's statements -- that put its ally Turkey and a terrorist organization in the same equation -- with astonishment," Bilgic told a news conference in Ankara.

Bilgic said that Turkey had protested Kirby's statements harshly and conveyed these thoughts to U.S. officials.

A Turkish border post was hit by mortar fire from Syria on Sunday. The bombardment by PYD forces hit the post in Kilis province and the Turkish military responded with shellfire.

Turkish troops have shelled PYD positions around Azaz in northern Syria since Saturday in response to artillery strikes on Turkey.

The PYD is the Syrian affiliate of the PKK, which is listed as a terror group also by the U.S. and the EU and has targeted Turkish security forces and civilians since 1984.

Azaz -- six kilometers (four miles) from the Turkish border -- has been the scene of recent heavy fighting as the PYD advanced during a Russian-backed Syrian government offensive against opposition forces.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Şubat 2016, 14:53