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Turkey's president slams NATO for lack of support in Syria

Erdogan said NATO member Turkey sent troops to conflict zones when requested [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 March, 2018

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Turkey's president has criticised NATO for not supporting his country's ongoing military operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters in Syria.

Turkey's president has criticised NATO for not supporting his country's ongoing military operation against Syrian Kurdish fighters in Syria.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking to reporters on Saturday, asked, "Hey NATO, where are you?" and accused the military alliance of double standards.

Erdogan said NATO member Turkey sent troops to conflict zones when requested, but did not receive support in return.

Turkey launched a solo military offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units or YPG on January 20 to clear them from Afrin in northwestern Syria.

The country considers the YPG a terror organisation, but its NATO ally, the United States, backs the fighters to combat the Islamic State group.

Erdogan urged NATO to come to Turkey's aid, saying its borders are "under threat right now."

The Turkish assault in northern Syria has sparked concerns for the tens of thousands of civilians in Afrin town. Only one route currently leads out of Afrin and into regime-held zones in Syria's Aleppo province.

At least 370 YPG fighters and 340 rebel fighters have died since Ankara began its offensive earlier this year. More than 200 civilians have also died, but Ankara denies the civilian death toll and says it takes the "utmost care" to avoid casualties.

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