During Sunday night’s Presidential debate, Hillary Clinton made a remark that she would take the position to arm the Kurds in an effort to combat the Islamic State. The Turkish Prime Minister, Binali Yildirim, condemned Clinton’s statements and questioned whether the United States could still be considered an ally to Turkey if that proposal were to take place. Though the Kurds have been a partner to the U.S. in the fight against ISIS, Turkey considers them a terrorist group and believes that the United States is teaming up with their enemy.
When asked about how the candidate would defeat ISIS during the debate on Sunday, Clinton said that the Kurds “have been our best partners in Syria, as well as Iraq,” and that she “would also consider arming the Kurds.”
The democratic nominee also added that she knows “there’s a lot of concern about that in some circles, but they should have the equipment they need so that Kurdish and Arab fighters on the ground are the principal way we take Raqqa after pushing ISIS out of Iraq.” Her comments ignited Turkey’s Prime Minister.
“Clinton has said she would support Kurds in the region, terrorist organizations, with arms if she is elected. What does that mean?” Yildirim asked during his weekly Parliament meeting on Tuesday. “Is the U.S. not our ally? What does it mean to support them with arms?
“Where in the world have you ever seen this?” he continued. “How moral is it, how ethical is it, how right is it to fight a terrorist organization with another terrorist organization, to defeat a terrorist organization with another terrorist organization?”
Recep Erdogan, Turkey’s President, called Clinton a “political novice” on Wednesday in response to her comments.
Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu added that the United States would be considered “terror-supporting country” if such a plan took place and the possible Clinton Administration armed the Kurds.