CNN)Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has had no shortage of harsh, withering words for enemies involved in the bloody civil war in neighboring Syria.
Now, he’s turning his verbal barrage on a key NATO ally: the United States.
Erdogan ripped into Washington on Wednesday, claiming it’s responsible for a “sea of blood” in Syria for what he called its ignorance about dangers posed by other groups, not just ISIS, in the region. Specifically, he slammed America’s refusal not just to resist branding Syrian Kurdish fighters as terrorists but in supporting them militarily.
“I told you many times: Are you with us or with this terrorist organization?” a fiery Erdogan told a gathering of village leaders, according to Turkish state media.
Such anger against Washington is noteworthy, though a Turkish leader lashing out at Kurds is nothing new. The ethnic group has been a thorn in Ankara’s side for decades, having been blamed for violence as part of its separatist push. Ankara has fought back and is still fighting back, with the Kurds viewed as a very real threat.
Generally, Turkey’s allies haven’t gotten involved in this fight. But what’s happening in Syria — specifically, the rise of ISIS, which is widely regarded as a ruthless and, at times, barbaric terrorist group — has changed the equation.