TEHRAN (defapress)- Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday criticized the recently announced plan of the US to form a so-called border army led by Kurdish fighters in Syria.
News ID: 68112
Publish Date: 16January 2018 - 14:27
Speaking to journalists in Canada's Vancouver city, Cavusoglu said "The US must clarify which side it is on, whether it chooses to be with its allies or terror groups?", Anadolu Agency reported.
The Turkish Foreign Minister warned that "We will take our own measures [against terror groups]. Regardless of who backs them; whether it is the US or other countries, it doesn't matter to us."
About a possible Afrin operation in Syria, he stressed that Turkey will fight against the PYD terrorists in Syria just like it did against the PKK.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also called US-backed Syrian Border Force using Kurdish fighters a “terrorist army,” vowing to “drown” it before it’s complete.
“Our duty is to drown this terrorist force before it is born,” the Turkish leader said on Monday, adding that the 30,000-srtrong army of “traitors” that Washington seeks to create will point their guns against US troops at the first threat.
“This is what we have to say to all our allies: don't get between us and terrorist organizations, or we will not be responsible for the unwanted consequences,” Erdogan said, adding that Turkish forces will battle “until not a single terrorist remains along our borders, let alone 30,000 of them.”
Turkey is ready “at any moment” to start an operation in a besieged border area of Syria, the President stressed.
“The Turkish Armed Forces will resolve the Afrin and Manbij issue as soon as possible. Our preparations are finalized, an operation may start at any moment,” Recep Tayyip Erdogan told an opening ceremony in the capital, Ankara.
The US-led coalition announced on Sunday it is helping to create a new Border Security Force to fight terrorists in Syria. The unit, stationed along the Syrian border with Iraq and Turkey, as well as along the Euphrates River Valley, is expected to be comprised of up to 30,000 people. Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) veterans will make half of the unit, while the other half are yet to be recruited.
The plans of the US-led coalition to form new "Border Defense Force" have sparked angry reaction from Turkey as Ankara repeatedly accused the US of arming some of Syrian Kurds, which the Turkish side regards as terrorist groups.
The United States' military support for the militia first began under the administration of US President Donald Trump’s predecessor, Barack Obama, which provided Kurds with weapons and training.
Washington also continues providing Kurdish fighters with more military hardware in Syria despite US President's promise to his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan to halt arms shipment to the Kurdish fighters.
Ankara said late November 2017 that Trump told Erdogan that he had issued instructions that weapons should not be provided to Kurdish fighters in Syria.
According to reports, the US plans to keep its troops in Syria long after the defeat of ISIL. Washington has been justifying its deployment of ground troops in Syria, which violates the embattled nation’s sovereignty, by citing the need to fight ISIL.