- Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly played a video on his iPad in the Oval Office to turn Trump and other senators against the Kurds, but attendees were left unconvinced, according to a report from Axios.
- Among those present were five Republican senators, including Senator Lindsey Graham — a vocal critic of Turkey’s incursion into Northern Syria, sources familiar with the meeting told Axios.
- A source present in the room told Axios that Erdogan’s video, which showed the Kurds as “terrorists,” was “unpersuasive” to Trump.
- A prominent journalist in Turkey posted a video to Twitter that he said is the same one showed to Trump. In that video, Mazloum Kobani Abdi, the head of the Syrian Democratic Forces is compared to slain ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan played a “propaganda video” portraying Kurdish fighters as terrorists on his iPad during a meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office Wednesday, but left the attendees unconvinced, according to Axios, who cited three sources familiar with the meeting.
Erdogan reportedly took out his iPad in the meeting and played a film depicting Kurdish forces in Syria as “terrorists,” however a source present in the meeting told Axios the footage was “unpersuasive.”
The Oval Office meeting was hosted by Trump, who “sat back and watched, intervening occasionally” and among those present were five Republican senators including Senator Lindsey Graham, according to Axios.
Ragip Soylu, a Turkey correspondent for Middle East Eye, tweeted a video on Thursday that he said is the same one Erdogan showed Trump.
The video discusses two bombings in Istanbul in 2008 that killed 17 people and injured 154 more. The video blames the attack on Mazloum Kobani Abdi, the commander of the Syrian Democratic Forces, and goes on to compare him to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was recently killed in a US operation in Syria.
“Is Kobani not the same as al-Baghdadi?” — the video asks.
You can watch it below:
—Ragıp Soylu (@ragipsoylu) November 14, 2019
After the film was played, sources told Axios that Graham — who previously expressed stern opposition to Turkey’s military incursion into Northern Syria — engaged in a back-and-forth with Erdogan over the campaign.
He concluded, Axios said, by asking the Turkish president: “Well, do you want me to go get the Kurds to make one about what you’ve done?”
Trump hosted Erdogan at the White House just weeks after the US military pulled out of Syria, allowing Turkey to launch a large-scale military incursion against SDF fighters in the country, who had long aided the US in their fight against ISIS.
Since Turkey started its military incursion into Syria at least 92 people have been killed and a further 200,000 displaced, according to the United Nations.
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