Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Wednesday accused the U.S.-led the anti-Islamic State (ISIS) coalition of helping Kurdish forces defend against Turkey’s offensive on the Syrian region of Afrin, nationalist newspaper Yeniçağ said.
“The mountains, hills, and settlements have one by one been taken over by our heroic soldiers and Free Syrian Army members,” Erdoğan told an audience of neighbourhood-level officials.
“They opened up tunnels in the mountains. Who did that? They did that all together with the coalition forces.”
Among the ranks of the Syrian Kurdish forces fighting the Turkish troops were “leftovers from the Crusades”, he said.
“Everyone may hold others to account, but Allah has the biggest account. We do not only trust our security forces’ bravery, at the same time we trust the faith in our hearts.”
Erdoğan said that he hoped that the Afrin operation would be over by the end of the day.
“We have come a bit closer to Afrin. My wish is that Afrin will have completely fallen by evening,” he said.
“We will clean Afrin of terrorists, then we will clean Manbij and the east of the Euphrates of terrorists in the same way. The goal is not land, it is to completely purge the region of terrorists. Soon we will destroy those in charge of the terrorists in a much stronger way in northern Iraq.”