Czech President Milos Zeman has accused fellow NATO member Turkey of teaming up with terrorists during its offensive in northeastern Syria and of committing war crimes, AFP reports.
“President Erdogan calls the Kurds terrorists, but I strongly disagree,” Zeman said late Thursday during a talk show on the private Czech Barrandov television station.
“On the contrary, I’m asking myself if those who attack the Kurds and commit those beastly murders like the murder of that Kurdish politician are not terrorists themselves.”
Zeman was referring to the summary execution of female politician Hevrin Khalaf reportedly by Turkey’s Syrian allies during the operation launched on October 9 to remove the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) from areas near its border.
Zeman also said Turkey was building close ties “with Islamism, with the radical, murderous Islamism we have now seen in northeastern Syria.”
“I think Turkey has committed war crimes and in any case I think it should not be an EU member at least,” he stated.
The Czech Republic, like a number of other EU members, has halted arms exports to Turkey, and its lawmakers have branded the Turkish offensive in Syria a breach of international law.
Turkey has now announced a 120-hour suspension of its offensive following a deal with US Vice President Mike Pence, calling on the Kurds to withdraw from a border strip which will become a “safe zone”.