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Turkey denounces Obama's Syria policy as 'example of failure'

Turkey has questioned the US-lead coalitions use of the Incirlik airbase [AFP]

Date of publication: 7 January, 2017

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Turkey's Defence Minister Fakry Ishiq has slammed Washington's policy in Syria, questioned the US' use of a Turkish airbase, and expressed hope for the coming Trump administration.

Turkey's Defence Minister Fakry Ishiq has slammed US President Barack Obama's approach to the Syria war, describing it as "an example of complete failure" during in an interview on Turkish TV.

Speaking to HaberTurk (Turk News) Ishiq questioned why the US had asked for Turkish cooperation in the fight against the Islamic State group but was giving weapons to the Syrian-Kurdish group the People's Protection Units [YPG].

Ankara views the YPG as analogous to the PKK, which has fought a guerrilla war against the Turkish state since the 1980s. Alleged factions of the group have recently been blamed for a recent spate of deadly attacks in Turkey, including a car bombing in Izmir, in Western Turkey on Thursday.

For the past few months, the US has attempted to balance its alliance with Turkey with its burgeoning relationship with the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) which it has entrusted with leading assaults on the extremist group's de facto Syrian capital Raqqa, much to Ankara's disdain. 

Ishiq added that Turkey was considering the US-lead coalition's use of the Incirlik airbase stating that Ankara would assess all possibilities if it felt the use of the base was against its interests.

"It is not a NATO base," said Ishiq.

He went on to say that he hoped the Trump administration would have a clearer "more transparent" approach to the Syria crisis.  

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