'Turkey has stopped supporting extremist in Syria'

'Turkey has stopped supporting extremist in Syria'
Sat Nov 9, 2013 21:08:06

A top Syrian Kurdish leader has claimed that the Turkish government is no longer supporting the al-Qaeda-linked militant groups fighting to topple the government in Syria.


Salih Muslim, the leader of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), told Turkish newspaper Taraf on Friday that, “Turkey has withdrawn its support for al-Qaeda linked groups al-Nusra and the ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), or at least that’s how it looks.”

“Armed groups are now unable to enter through Turkey to attack us like they used to. This makes us very happy. We hope Turkey upholds this approach. Like we always said, we want to be allies of Turkey. We are not seeking independence or a federation,” Muslim said.

In the recent weeks, Kurdish fighters have inflicted heavy losses on the al-Qaeda-linked groups such as the ISIL and al-Nusra in northern Syria.

Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan also said earlier on Thursday that Ankara is not providing shelter or backing to al-Qaeda-linked groups such as al-Nusra in Syria.

Turkish media, however, gave coverage to a report by American news channel CNN showing Turkey being used by al-Qaeda-linked groups to smuggle militants to Syria.

According to reports, the Western powers and their regional allies, especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey, are supporting the militants operating inside Syria.

In May, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said militants from 29 different countries were operating in different parts of the country.

According to statistics compiled by the United Nations, more than 100,000 people have been killed and millions of others displaced due to the unrest that erupted in Syria in March 2011.


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