Grave terrorist threats drive Turkey to take more initiative in Syria

DAILY SABAH
ANKARA
Published 18.05.2019 00:08

Turkey is being pushed to take initiatives in Syria to ensure its national security as the terrorist threat near its border grows with the PKK-affiliated People's Protection Units (YPG) fueling instability in the war-torn country.

The presence of the YPG along its borders is the utmost risk for Ankara's national interest. In the face of the terrorist threat near to its borders, Turkey has carried out two cross-border operations in the past three years and was preparing to launch another east of the Euphrates, which was later put on hold due to the prompt U.S. pullout plans. However, Ankara is growing more impatient by the day as the U.S. keeps stalling on its promises.

In relation to the issue, Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), "has the responsibility to look out, protect and ensure the security of the 82 million people of the nation. As long as terrorists are present in the north of Iraq and Syria, we will continue doing what is necessary like we did previously."

Pointing out that Turkey will never allow a terror corridor to be established along its border, Akar underlined that Turkey will continue its fight against all kinds of terrorism resolutely. He added that the TSK has completed all its preparations for the imminent cross-border operation and is waiting for instructions from Ankara.

After Daesh was cleared from the region, the YPG tightened its grip by establishing a de facto autonomous region in Syria. Turkey sees no difference between the PKK, a group also listed on U.S. and EU terror lists. The U.S., however, opted to continue its military support for the terrorist organization by providing truckloads of military supplies and military training under the pretext of fighting Daesh, despite the warnings of its NATO ally.

Russia also has been voicing its concerns about the repercussions of the U.S.' support for the YPG, stressing that it will destabilize the region in the long run.

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov on Thursday underlined that Syrian Kurds are important for the political solution. Expressing his concerns regarding the U.S. presence in the region, Ryabkov emphasized that it was a policy intentionally pursued by Washington to halt the efforts of preserving the territorial integrity of Syria.

According to local sources speaking to Anadolu Agency (AA), a car bomb targeting the military council in the northern Syrian town of Manbij run by the YPG on Thursday was claimed by Daesh, which the U.S. had declared defeated. Local sources also underscored that the YPG launched an operation on Thursday night under the pretext of fighting Daesh, setting fire to 200,000 square meters of a field in a district of eastern Syria's Deir el-Zour, where huge civilian protests of the terrorist organization have been taking place for some time.

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