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US rubbishes Erdogan’s ‘Ottoman slap’ threat as ‘funny’

The US has rubbished the “Ottoman slap” menace issued by Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over a attainable confrontation between American and Turkish navy personnel within the ongoing battle in Syria.

The 2 sides are working dangerously shut to one another within the strife-torn Syrian area the place the US backs the YPG Kurdish fighters, who’re considered “terrorists” by Ankara. Following a sudden escalation of the anti-Kurdish offensive in current weeks by Turkey, considerations have surfaced that the scenario may put the US and Turkey, each Nato members, at the opposite sides of the war zone directly.

Amid the unstable ambiance, Erdogan had warned Turkish forces is not going to return till they wipe out the Kurdish militants within the area and requested the US to cease funding the Kurdish fighters or face Turkey’s wrath.

“We’ll destroy each terrorist we have now seen, beginning with those standing by their facet. Then they’ll perceive that it’s higher for them to to not stand alongside the terrorists,” the Turkish president informed the parliament.

“It’s clear that those that say ‘we’ll reply aggressively in case you hit us’ have by no means skilled an Ottoman slap,” he mentioned. “They’ve mistaken Turkey for the form of place the place they will come and go as they please with out giving an account. They’ll quickly see that it isn’t such a spot.”

Erdogan’s remarks come within the wake of an imminent go to by the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is ready to carry talks with prime Turkish officers on Thursday and Friday (15, 16 February) in easing the situation and to avoid a showdown.

However, the US State Division known as Erdogan’s menace as “humorous”. The division’s spokeswoman Heather Nauert mentioned: “As humorous because it was the remark that you just defined to me, I am not going to reply to each overseas chief’s remark.”

In January, Turkey had launched a significant navy offensive, codenamed “Operation Olive Department”, towards Kurdish insurgents in Syria’s Afrin and Manbij, the world the place Washington has deployed its personnel in coaching capability. The operation continues to be underway.

Operation Olive Branch Afrin Syria
An image taken on February 5, 2018, on a mountain on the Syrian-Turkish border, north of Azaz
SALEH ABO GHALOUN/AFP/Getty Photos

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