01 March 2017 Wednesday
The international community is beginning to realize Ankara’s crucial role in paving the way for a permanent solution in war-torn Syria thanks to the ongoing Turkey-led operations, head of Syrian Turkmen Assembly in Turkey said Wednesday.
The Turkey-led Operation Euphrates Shield began late August 2016 to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border using Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters backed by Turkish artillery and jets.
“Wherever Turkey goes to clear terrorists from an area and provide security, it succeeds,” Emin Bozoglan, who is currently in Geneva to attend the Syria peace talks, told Anadolu Agency over the phone.
He said Turkey’s power in the international arena was now more apparent due to the successful Operation Euphrates Shield, adding this could also be observed at the talks in Geneva.
“The PYD [PKK terrorist group’s affiliate in Syria] is not at the table because Turkey doesn’t want it and this is the right approach,” he said.
According to Bozoglan, the recent liberation of Jarabulus city as well as the strategic Al-Bab town in Syria is a positive development not only for Turkey’s national security but also for the Syrian opposition who want a terrorist-free Syria.
He added the Syrian opposition always supports the territorial integrity of Syria and blamed the international community for backing terrorist groups.
“The U.S. government is supporting PYD and it threatens peace in Syria. If they [the U.S.] leave Syria to the Syrian people, peace can be achieved,” Bozoglan said.
The PYD is a Syrian offshoot of the PKK, which is recognized as a terrorist group by Turkey, the EU and U.S. While Turkey considers PYD/YPG as Syrian affiliates of the PKK, neither the EU nor the U.S. regard the groups as its offshoots.
Turkey-backed forces have killed more than 3,000 ISIL terrorists — as well as some PKK/PYD elements — in northern Syria under Operation Euphrates Shield, according to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
The Turkish government has long said it would not participate in any formation in the region where the PKK/PYD is included.
Ankara has repeatedly said one terror group should not be used against another and urged the U.S.-led coalition to stop using the YPG to eliminate ISIL terrorists in the region.
After having completed successful operations in Jarabulus, Al-Rai, Dabiq and Al-Bab, the FSA forces could next lead the Raqqah — ISIL’s self-proclaimed capital — operation, according to Turkish authorities.
Source: World Bulletin.