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Turkey Stresses it Won’t ‘Remain Silent’ over Attacks from Syria

Turkey Stresses it Won’t ‘Remain Silent’ over Attacks from Syria

Saturday, 4 June, 2022 - 07:30
US Ambassador to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, visits the border between Turkey and Syria to assess a long-running UN operation delivering humanitarian aid into northwest Syria, near Hatay, Turkey June 2, 2022. (Reuters)

Turkey informed the United States it is committed to taking necessary measures against “terrorist organizations” threatening its national security, and that it will not tolerate the escalation of attacks against Turkish territory from the areas controlled by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sedat Onal held telephone talks on Thursday with Permanent Representative of the US to the United Nations, Linda Thomas-Greenfield.

Onal told the diplomat that the risk of terrorist attacks from SDF-run areas in Syria against Turkey has increased recently.

Turkey cannot be expected to remain indifferent about attacks that are targeting its forces and civilians and advancing the separatist agenda in the region.

In a statement, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said Onal assured Thomas-Greenfield that Ankara will continue to take the necessary measures against “terrorist organizations” that threaten Turkey's vital national security interests.

Ankara considers the SDF, and its military backbone, the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a terrorist organization and an extension of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which is classified as a terrorist organization by Turkey and its Western allies.

However, the US views the SDF as its closest ally in the war against ISIS in Syria.

According to the Foreign Ministry’s statement, Thomas-Greenfield voiced US concerns about Turkey’s military operation against SDF locations in the north of Syria.

Onal emphasized that the PKK-affiliated terrorist organizations are an existential threat not only to Syria’s territorial integrity but also to Turkey’s national security.

He added that the provisions of the separate agreements reached with the US and Russia in October 2019 have not been fulfilled.

Turkey concluded two separate deals with both the United States and Russia during its Operation Peace Spring, which it launched in northern Syria on October 9, 2019.

According to the agreements, Russia and the US pledged to withdraw YPG units to a depth of 30 km to the south of the Turkish border, but Ankara says they did not fulfill their promises.

Washington says that Turkey did not abide by the understanding signed between them.

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