US support for the Syrian Kurdish PYD, which Washington considers a useful ally in the fight against Islamic State, has enraged Turkey and risks driving a wedge between the Nato allies. Turkey sees the group as a terrorist organisation linked to Kurdish militants waging an insurgency on its own soil.
Erdogan and the Turkish government have said the PYD’s armed wing, the YPG, was responsible for a suicide car bomb attack in the administrative heart of Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday, which killed 28 people most of them soldiers.
“I will tell him, look at how and where those weapons you provided were fired,” he told reporters in Istanbul.
“Months ago in my meeting with him (Obama), I told him the US was supplying weapons. Three plane loads arrived, half of them ended up in the hands of Daesh (Islamic State), and half of them in the hands of the PYD,” he said.
“Against whom were these weapons used? They were used against civilians there and caused their deaths.”
Turkish foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu accused the United States of making conflicting statements about the Syrian Kurdish militia.
He said US secretary of state John Kerry had told him the Kurdish insurgents could not be trusted, in what Cavusoglu said was a departure from Washington’s official position.
The United States has said it does not consider the YPG a terrorist group. A spokesperson for the State Department said on Thursday Washington was not in a position to confirm or deny Turkey’s charge the YPG was behind the Ankara bombing.
The YPG’s political arm has denied the group was behind the Ankara attack and said Turkey was using it to justify an escalation in fighting in northern Syria.