Turkey warns Kurds against autonomy in Syria

Turkey warns Kurds against autonomy in Syria
Sat Jul 27, 2013 16:54:56

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has cautioned Syrian Kurds against any plans for autonomy in northern Syria.

Erdogan said on Friday that the warning was delivered by a Turkish official to Salih Muslim, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) of Syria, who arrived in Turkey to meet with Turkish intelligence officials.

"The necessary warning was made that the steps they are taking are wrong and dangerous," Erdogan said.

Last week, Muslim rejected rumors that Kurds want to establish an independent state in northern Syria which was the scene of fierce fighting between Kurdish fighters and al-Qaeda-affiliated militants in recent days.

China’s Xinhua news agency on July 21 quoted Muslim as saying, “There is no intention among the Kurds to form their own government, nor to secede from Syria.”

In recent months, Kurdish fighters, who are opposed to foreign interference in Syria, have been battling foreign-backed militants in the north.

Turkey has expressed concerns over the Kurds’ military gains in northern Syria.

On July 17, the Kurdish fighters took control of the town of Ras al-Ain in the border province of Hasakah, forcing out the al-Qaeda-linked militants.

The conflict in Syria started in March 2011, when pro-reform protests turned into a massive insurgency following the intervention of Western and regional states.

The unrest, which took in terrorist groups from across Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, has transpired as one of the bloodiest conflicts in recent history.

NTJ/HH

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