US denies accusing Turkey of supporting radicals

In his latest report, journalist Seymour Hersh quoted an unnamed source saying President Obama accused Turkey of supporting radical groups.

US denies accusing Turkey of supporting radicals

World Bulletin / News Desk

The US White House has denied allegations made by journalist Seymour Hersh, who claimed that the Obama administration accused Turkey of supporting radical groups in Syria and being behind the August 21 chemical attack that killed over 1,000 civilians in Guta.

Responding to a question by Posta212's Washington correspondent Ilhan Tanir, the White House said that it had seen Hersh's latest article and that it had been written based on quotes from unnamed sources. The statement also said that it had falsified the claims made by Hersh to him on behald of the National Security Council of the White House before the article was eveb published.

Intelligence spokesman Shawn Turner also said that only the Assad regime could have been responsible for the chemical attack, saying that this conclusion was reached with the efforts of allied intelligence agencies and was shared by the majority.

A little over three months after the attack, journalist Seymour Hersh accused the Syrian opposition of being guilty of committing the attack. Another four months on, the continuation of this accusation appeared in the London Review of Books on Sunday.

According to Hersh, the US secret services apparantly found out that the Turkish government was working with the Al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front rebel group in the spring of 2013. Hersh claimed that US president Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan alongside other officials met for an unofficial dinner, in which Erdogan sought to allow Turkish secret services chief Hakan Fidan to explain himself. Obama then reportedly cut Fidan off, pointed to him, and told Erdogan ‘We know what you’re doing with the radicals in Syria.’

Hersh then went on the quote a diplomatic source saying that US defense secretary Chuck Hagel described Erdogan has having ‘acute anxiety’ over the rebels’ dwindling prospects and that the Turkish leadership had expressed ‘the need to do something that would precipitate a US military response’ in order to turn the tides of the war.

The report then quotes an intelligence analyst who said that he sensed that the Syrian regime had not committed the chemical attack and that the immediate suspects were the Turks, 'because they had all the pieces to make it happen.’

Turkey has constantly denied affiliation to radical groups in Syria and has even been at odds with the Al Qaeda breakaway group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), over Turkey's base at the Suleiman Shah tomb in Aleppo.

ISIL rebels threatened to attack the base, which is internationally recognized as Turkish territory, if Turkish troops didn't withdraw. Turkey in return threatened to commence airstrikes. 

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Nisan 2014, 17:01