Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has accused Russia of providing anti-aircraft weaponry and rockets to militants of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the pro-government Star newspaper and other local media reported on Monday.
Speaking to reporters on board his airplane after a visit to the southeastern province of Diyarbakir over the weekend, Erdogan accused Moscow of transferring weaponry to the PKK via Iraq and Syria, the Star newspaper said.
“At this moment, terrorists are using anti-aircraft guns and missiles supplied by Russia. The separatist terrorist organisation is equipped with these weapons. They have been transferred to them via Syria and Iraq,” the Star reported Erdogan as saying.
The government was not immediately available to confirm the report.
While Erdogan has previously castigated Russia for its support of Kurdish fighters in Syria, the latest comments appear to be the first time he has accused Moscow of supplying arms to the PKK, seen as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and Europe.