Turkey’s Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on October 17 that “terrorist groups” are plotting to use chemical weapons and blame it on the Turkish military.
“Information emerged that terror groups are intending to use chemical weapons and blame it on Turkish military,” Akar said after meeting U.S. National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, according to the Daily Sabah.
The Turkish defense minister stressed that the Turkish military does not have any chemical weapon in its inventory, saying that “everybody knows this.”
Akar’s remarks were likely a response to recent reports claiming that the Turkish military is using internationally prohibited weapons in its ongoing attack on the town of Ras al-Ayn in northeast Syria, where fighters of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are deployed.
Sources affiliated with the SDF claimed a day earlier that the Turkish military shelled Ras al-Ayn with rounds containing white phosphorus. This claim has not been verified yet.
In previous years, Ankara repeatedly accused the Damascus government of conducting chemical attacks. In those cases, Turkey was not very interested in talking about some terrorists’ involvement and ‘staged attacks’.