Turkish president slams US over Afrin operation remarks

Turkey would not get permission from others regarding its actions.

 

Ottoman band

An Ottoman-style military band performed in the border province of Hatay as a show of support for troops taking part in Turkey’s Olive Branch Operation in Syria’s Afrin on January 22, 2018.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has slammed the US for remarks on the scope and duration of Turkey’s operation in northern Syria, reports the website of pro-government Sabah newspaper.

“What does the US say? The duration [of the operation] should be determined and not too long. Was the duration [of your operation] in Afghanistan determined? Did this duration end in Iraq? You are still in Iraq,” Erdogan said speaking at an award ceremony in Ankara.

“This is not mathematics. How can you ask such a thing? We are not keen on staying there. We know how to withdraw,” he said.

Erdogan added that the country would not get permission from others regarding its actions.

The US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert on 21 January urged Ankara to “ensure that its military operations remain limited in scope and duration and scrupulous to avoid civilian casualties.”

“We call on all parties to remain focused on the central goal of defeating ISIS [Islamic State]. Now is the time for great nations to work together to secure a peaceful stability for the people of Syria,” Nauert added.

Turkey launched its military operation in Afrin on 20 January targeting the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Islamic State (IS) forces there.

The army’s ground operation, launched on 21 January, is currently underway.

Ankara considers the PYD and its armed wing People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an off-shoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Source: Sabah website, Istanbul, in Turkish 1212 gmt 22 Jan 18
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

NATO ‘supports’, but France ‘hinders’ Turkey, Turkish daily says

Turkish army1

Turkish Army soldiers prepare their tanks and armoured personnel carriers at a staging area in the outskirts of the village of Sugedigi, Turkey, on the border with Syria, Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu responded to France’s call for the UN Security Council to convene for an emergency meeting to discuss Turkey’s Afrin operation, reported local media on 21 January.

“If France or any other country takes the matter to the UN, then in our eyes, they will be seen as a country that stands by a terror organisation instead of an ally and they will be treated as such by us,” said Cavusoglu as quoted by mainstream Hurriyet newspaper.

“France knows, at least as well as we do, the risks People’s Defence Units (YPG) poses to Syria in particular” said Cavusoglu. NATO calls operation ‘right to defend’

Meanwhile NATO, in a statement to Turkish high-circulation Hurriyet newspaper, said that Turkey reserved the right to defend itself. The organisation underlined the importance of proportionate and restrained action.

Hurriyet daily headline on its website said “NATO supports but France hinders Turkey”

The daily wrote that although the EU commented on similar operations in the past, the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini’s team have this time declined to comment on Turkey’s Afrin operation.

“In a statement, Mogherini’s team said that they do not comment on military operations” Hurriyet reported. Diplomatic messages from Turkey

Pro-government English Daily Sabah, meanwhile, reported that envoys and mission chiefs of permanent members of the UN Security Council – the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, China -were invited to the Turkish foreign ministry for a briefing on 20 January, the day that Operation Olive Branch started.

Source: BBC Monitoring in Turkish 0601 gmt 22 Jan 18
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Turkish president says ‘no step back’ from Afrin

Erdogan in Bursa

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan salutes as he addresses his ruling party members in Bursa, Turkey, Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. (Kayhan Ozer/Pool Photo via AP)

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said the country will not take a step back from its operation in the Syrian Kurdish-held enclave Afrin, reports privately-owned NTV television.

“Afrin will be solved. There is no step back from Afrin,” Erdogan said speaking at a live broadcast event in Ankara.

As for how long the operation would last, Erdogan said the operation would be concluded “when it reached its goals.”

Erdogan also said that Turkey and Russia had a consensus regarding the operation.

Turkey launched its military operation in Afrin on 20 January targeting the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Islamic State (IS) forces there.

The army’s ground operation, launched on 21 January, is currently underway.

Ankara considers the PYD and its armed wing People’s Protection Units (YPG) as an off-shoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).

Source: NTV television, Istanbul, in Turkish 1150 gmt 22 Jan 18
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Iran hopes Turkey’s Afrin operation ends soon

Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman has expressed the hope that Turkey’s invasion of Syria’s Kurdish-populated Afrin region ends as soon as possible, since the continuation of the assault can lead to the return of extremist groups to the area.

Bahram Qassemi in his weekly news conference on 22 January said that the sovereignty of all countries, saying that Iran will continue participating in the Syria peace talks in Astana, Kazakhstan with Turkey and Russia, the Young Journalists’ Club website reported.

“We have always believed that the detrimental and devastating crisis in Syria has its roots in the irresponsible behaviour, proactive actions and illegal interference of extra-regional powers including the United States government and some greedy and militant countries in the region such as the Zionist regime,” he noted, reiterating similar remarks from a day earlier (See: monitoring.bbc.co.uk/product/c1dopvrt).

He added: “As long as the US forces and their allies including the “takfiri [Sunni extremist]-terrorist” groups maintain their illegitimate and unlawful presence in Syria against the international rules and contrary to the will of the legal government of Syria and against the interests of its people, the humanitarian crisis in Syria will continue.”

The spokesman called on all “responsible” members of the international community, especially Syria’s neighbouring countries, to avoid any measure that provokes terrorist groups and to focus on resolving the Syrian crisis via peaceful and political practices.

Source: Iranian Young Journalists’ Club website, Tehran, in Persian 0756 gmt 22 Jan 18
© 2018 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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