Mark Toner

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s allegation that the US sponsored the Islamic State (IS) in Syria was portrayed as “ludicrous” by the Obama administration.

See Related Story: President Erdogan: US Supported ISIS and has Proof to Back Up Claims

Mark Toner, spokesman for the US State Department remarked that the accusation had no basis.

Erdogan had previously slammed the US, and stated that he possessed evidence that the latter had supported IS, and Kurdish militant groups YPG and PYG.

Turkey’s military has launched a major offensive with the aim of driving the IS from its bastions in Syria’s northern territories.

In a media conference in Ankara, the Turkish president declared, “They were accusing us of supporting Daesh (IS)”.

“Now they give support to terrorist groups including Daesh, YPG, PYD. It’s very clear. We have confirmed evidence, with pictures, photos, and videos,” he added.

Since the start of the operation in August, Turkish forces have suffered 37 servicemen killed in action. The fighting has been concentrated around the key Syrian town of al-Bab lying 20km from the border with Turkey

The US worked in cooperation with Kurdish fighters battling the IS in Syria. However, Turkey claims that these groups were connected to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). This is an insurgent group in Turkey which Ankara has been fighting for decades.

In the meantime, the coalition composed of Syrian political and armed rebel factions have called on all militant groups to achieve a ceasefire agreement through “sincere regional efforts.”

The conference was recommended by Moscow and will be hosted by Kazakhstan. Riad Hijab, the High Negotiations Committee’s (HNC) general coordinator, however, said that his organization had not received an invitation to attend.

Hijab said a UN-sponsored discussion centered on political transition should take place in Geneva. He also added that for these talks to be successful, confidence-building measures were required.