Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech, flanked by his wife Emine, during a reception for World Smoking Cessation Day at the Presidential Palace in Ankara on February 9, 2016. AFP / ADEM ALTAN
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Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan upbraided the United States for its support of Syrian Kurdish rebels Wednesday, saying Washington's inability to grasp their true nature had turned the region into a "sea of blood".Turkey should respond by implementing its own solution, he said, alluding to the creation of a safe zone in northern Syria – something Ankara has long wanted but a proposal that has failed to resonate with the United States and other NATO allies.His comments, a day after Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador over its support for Syrian Kurds, displayed Ankara's growing frustration with Washington, which backs Syrian Kurdish rebels against ISIS militants in Syria's civil war.As well as battling both a Kurdish insurgency and ISIS, which has carried out several deadly bombings in Turkey, Ankara has been grappling with an influx of more than 2.5 million refugees since the 2011 start of Syria's conflict.
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