Türkiye will not hesitate to continue to hit the economic infrastructure and other targets of the YPG in northern Syria, and repeated its call to the United States to stand with its NATO ally and not with the terrorist group.
“We are not hesitating to destroy the infrastructure and the income resources of the terrorist organization in that region. Those who support them are confused to see that the organization they have spent so much money on was destroyed by four operations [by Türkiye],” Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan told a group of journalists late on Oct. 16 in Ankara.
Fidan referred to an ongoing partnership between the U.S. and the YPG, designated as a terrorist organization by Türkiye, in the fight against the presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Ankara has long been accusing Washington of endorsing the YPG’s ambitions to divide Syria and establish an entity in the war-torn country. Ties between the two allies have been strained after the U.S. downed a Turkish drone which was sent to hit some YPG targets in northern Syria.
“We tell Americans: We have no problem with you in northern Syria. But we will not refrain from targeting the terrorist organization there. This is the instruction given by our president to our armed forces, security and intelligence bodies,” Fidan said.
The YPG is threatening Türkiye’s territorial integrity and the U.S., as a NATO ally, should stand with Türkiye on its anti-terror fight, the minister recalled, “You, as a member of NATO, should stand with us. This is the purpose of the establishment of the alliance.”
Fidan admitted that Russia, which has military presence in northern Syria as well, is sometimes causing problems in front of Türkiye’s anti-terror fights but said “But these won’t prevent us from conducting our operations and weaken our commitment.”
‘US using YPG as warden to the ISIL prisoners’
The YPG will not be able to continue its existence in the region once the U.S. forces are withdrawn from the region because the local people and Arabs are unhappy of their presence, Fidan stressed.
“The only excuse of their supporter is the fight against the DAESH. In fact, there is no active fight against the DAESH. There are only the DAESH prisoners. They use the PKK as a warden,” he suggested.
‘Interests of Iran and Hamas coincide’
Fidan also answered questions on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and the position of other actors, including Iran which is accused of encouraging Hamas to attack Israel on Oct. 7.
“Iran, on this issue, is an important title both in the military and political dimensions. There is a need of a good analysis of Iran’s position,” the minister said, stressing that Iran has established a resistance line through its militia groups in the region which Israel sees as a big threat.
“In recent years, Iran’s efforts to take revenge on Israel and Hamas’ struggle for freedom intersect. It is observed that they benefit from each other. Therefore, our priority is to prevent this conflict from spreading out,” Fidan said.
Fidan in Lebanon for talks
In the meantime, Foreign Minister Fidan paid a visit to Lebanon on Oct. 17 to hold talks with his Lebanese counterpart, Abdallah Bouhabib, amid concerns that armed conflict may spread to Lebanon where Hezbollah has a strong military deployment.
Fidan said Türkiye’s policy includes efforts to stop the spread of the ongoing drama in Gaza to other regions, including Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. It is known that Hezbollah and the Israeli army has recently made a deployment on the Israeli-Lebanese border.
“I want to say that we are together here in Lebanon to stand against events that will make Lebanon unstable,” he said
Source : Hurriyel Daily News