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Turkey's Erdogan Criticises US/UK Strikes On Houthi Targets


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan has voiced scathing criticism of the US/UK air strikes on Houthi targets in Yemen on 11 Jan. Erdogan claims that the strikes are "not proportional", and that the US and UK are trying to turn the Red Sea into "as sea of blood". Says that he is hearing the Houthis are mounting a "successful defence, response" against the US.

  • Such strong comments criticising the military actions of the US and UK could further strain already tense relations between the NATO allies. Erdogan's hardline comments lambasting the actions of Israel in its war against Hamas have already come in stark contrast to those of most NATO members, which backed Israel's retaliatory response to the 7 Oct attacks by Hamas.
  • Turkey continues to engage in a game of brinksmanship with the US in the form of its continued delays to the ratification of Sweden's NATO accession. Ankara is seeking to purchase US-made F-16 fighter jets, and has explicitly linked the two.
  • Erodgan's comments likely directed more towards domestic audience, notably the Islamist wing and supporters of his Justice and Development Party (AKP). Lines up with other nations in the region either outright criticising the US/UK strikes (Iran, Iraq, Oman) or those urging caution on behalf of the US (Saudi Arabia).
  • The Turkish president's comments also line up with those of Russian President Vladimir Putin, who called the strikes 'illegitimate'.

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