Turkey coordinates with its allies but does not seek permission from anyone for its security operations in Syria, according to the Turkish presidential spokesman.
“We don’t ask permission, we just coordinate with our allies when we face a national security threat,” Ibrahim Kalin said in an interview broadcast Sunday by Qatari television channel Al Jazeera.
“Regarding the political situation in Syria, of course, it remains a source of threat and uncertainty for everyone, not only for us, but for Iraq, Jordan and other countries as well, ( and) Europe, etc.” he added.
Last month, Türkiye launched Operation Claw-Sword in northern Iraq and Syria, a cross-border air campaign against the PKK/YPG terrorist group, which has illegal hideouts across the Iraqi and Syrian borders where they plan and sometimes execute attacks on Turkish soil.
The operation was launched days after the terror group carried out a bomb attack on Istanbul’s popular Istiklal Avenue, killing six people and injuring 81.
After the air operation began on November 20, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also signaled a ground operation in northern Iraq and northern Syria to eliminate the terrorist threat.
Kalin explained that Türkiye’s initial response after the attack “was to coordinate and conduct a number of aerial operations”.
“We have established very clearly that YPG/PYD was behind this attack. We have the person who brought the bomb and carried out the attack, but also people who facilitate the arrival of this person – a lady,” he said.
“In recent years, the PKK has changed tactics. Rather than using Syrians, let’s say Kurds or others, they use other people of different nationalities. To cover up somehow,” he added.
Kalin dismissed claims that Turkish airstrikes had endangered American soldiers, reiterating that Ankara was not targeting civilians, nor American or Russian soldiers.
“We have a deconfliction mechanism with the Russians and the Americans. We do not target Russian or American soldiers or military posts in Syria or elsewhere. Our targets are the PKK/PYD/YPG elements, and we tell them to stay away from these elements,” he said.
“The PYD/YPG at one time uses the American flag, at another time the (Syrian) regime flag to protect themselves… sometimes they do it with the Russians, less recently, but in the past,” he said. he adds.
Kalin also pointed out that under an agreement signed in 2019, the United States was supposed to force YPG/PKK terrorists to move 30 kilometers (18 miles) away from the Turkish border, but the agreement did not was never implemented.
On the political situation in Syria, he said that Ankara “will continue to support the legitimate Syrian opposition…despite the fact that almost the whole world has forgotten about it”, including the United States, Europe and other countries. many Arab countries.
Regarding a possible meeting between President Erdogan and Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Kalin said: “We have no immediate plan for such a meeting, but our president is essentially sending a message: if you act responsibly, if you address the security concerns and allow the political process to move forward, then I might be willing to take that step.
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