Syria Operation to Continue till All Threats Eliminated: Turkey PM

Syria Operation to Continue till All Threats Eliminated: Turkey PM
Wed Aug 31, 2016 15:12:56

Turkey says its troops are to stay in Syria as long as there are “threats” against the Turkish state, days into a military incursion violating Syrian sovereignty.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim made the remark on Wednesday.

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim

Turkey launched an incursion into Syria last week. It said the incursion was meant to engage the Takfiri ISIS (Daesh) terrorists in the Syrian-Turkish border area as well as Kurdish fighters, who were themselves fighting ISIS.

The Turkish forces engaged the fighters of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), which Turkish authorities say is allied with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). The PKK has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.

Joining the incursion, which has so far cost the lives of dozens of civilians, have been hordes of militants that Ankara has been supporting against the central government in Damascus for years.

Turkish soldiers seat in a tank driving into Syria from the Turkish Syrian border city of Karkamis in the southern Turkey region of Gaziantep, August 27, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

Washington has, meanwhile, expressed dismay at Turkey’s trigger-happy attitude toward the Kurds.

Also on Wednesday, Turkey’s EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik further downplayed the prospect of a let-up by saying that Ankara did not accept a ceasefire with the Kurds.

“Turkey is a sovereign state, it is a legitimate state. To suggest it is on a par with a terrorist organization and suggest there are talks between them, that a deal has been reached between them, this is unacceptable,” he said, apparently referring to the YPG.

Iran has voiced concern about the continuation of the Turkish military presence in Syria.

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