Turkish Leader Says Obama Failed to Handle Syria ‘Seriously’

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Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Washington of not being serious enough in handling the Syrian issue.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Washington of not being serious enough in handling the Syrian issue.

"We have addressed these issues, discussed them with [US] President [Barack] Obama and [US] Vice President [Joe] Biden. They failed to rise to the occasion and handle these issues seriously. This is quite upsetting for us," Erdogan said in a Friday CBS 60 Minutes interview.

The Turkish leader stressed that because of Washington’s reluctance to approach the Syrian crisis in an adequate manner, Turkey has had to deal with twice as many refugees as Europe (almost three million).

"I wouldn’t speak the truth if I said I was not disillusioned. Because I am disillusioned," Erdogan said.

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Syria's civil war between government forces and numerous insurgents, including opposition groups and terrorists, such as Islamic State (ISIL, also known as Daesh) and Jabhat Fatah al Sham (also known as al-Nusra Front, or Jabhat al-Nusra), both outlawed in a wide range of countries, has raged for some five years and has claimed hundreds of thousands of lives.

On August 24, the Turkish forces, backed by US-led coalition aircraft, began a military operation dubbed Euphrates Shield aimed at freeing the Syrian northern territories from terrorists and creating security zones for the accommodation of refugees.

In late September, reports emerged that the United States was supplying the Syrian Kurds with light arms. Turkey’s President Erdogan condemned the move and referred to previous cases when US arms were seized by extremists.

Turkey is part of the international US-led coalition that has been targeting terrorists in Syria since 2014, but views the Syrian Kurdish militias as allied to the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been outlawed by Ankara.

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