ISTANBUL — Turkey’s foreign ministry has condemned a United States report on human trafficking that accused Ankara of giving “operational, equipment, and financial assistance” to a Syrian armed force that recruits children as fighters.
The letter also accuses the United States of having “double standards and hypocrisy,” citing US assistance for Syrian Kurdish terrorists. It refers to a United Nations study that details child recruitment and exploitation by the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Turkey claims that Syrian Kurdish militants who helped the SDF battle the Islamic State group were related to Kurdish forces who have waged a three-decade war against Turkey and are classed as terrorists. Support for them by the United States has been a key source of friction in US-Turkish ties.
Turkey and 14 other nations were singled out by the US State Department on Thursday for their use of child soldiers. It was the first time a NATO partner had been included in a list like this.