05:31 GMT25 January 2021
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    Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan addressing members of his ruling AK Party in a speech on Sunday appeared to dismiss US assurances over arms supplies to Syrian Kurds.

    "The ones who think they are tricking Turkey by saying they are going to get back the weapons that are being given to this terrorist organization will realize that they are making a mistake eventually," he said.

    "But it will be too late for them," he added, saying that if violence erupts outside Syria's border into Turkey, Ankara will hold those who supplied arms to the YPG acountable.

    The president’s statements came following the US Department of Defense’s pledge to Turkey that it will provide a list of weapons it supplied to the Kurds and will secure their return after "victory" over terrorists in Syria, the Turkish National Defense Ministry said in a statement obtained by Sputnik on Thursday.

    "In a letter to Turkey's National Defense Minister Fikri Isik, the head of the Pentagon, James Mattis, announced his intention to provide Turkey with a list of arms supplied to the Kurdish YPG [People's Protection Units] formations," the ministry said.

    It added that Mattis vowed, "The weapons will be returned after the victory over the Islamic State [Daesh] militants."

    However, it seems that the Turkish president isn’t buying any of that. 

    In his speech he also said, "We will make the real owners of those weapons… pay for any bullet that will be fired to our country, for every drop of blood that will be shed." 

    On May 9, the Pentagon announced that President Donald Trump had approved a plan to arm the Kurdish YPG in order to better fight against terrorism in Syria despite objections from Turkey.

    Ankara considers the YPG to be affiliated with the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is listed as a terror group in Turkey, the United States and the European Union.


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    Syrian Kurds, arms supplies, Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), US Department of Defense (DoD), Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Turkey
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