Turkey will see deployment of the Syrian Army to protect Kurdish militias in northern Syria as a declaration of war on Turkey, Yasin Aktay, an adviser of Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, said on October 19.
“If the Syrian regime [the Assad government] wants to enter Manbij, Ayn al-Arab and Qamishli to provide protection for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units [YPG], that will be viewed by Turkey as the declaration of war and it [Damascus] will face a relevant response,” the Turkish presidential adviser said.
However, he added that if Damascus provides Turkey with guarantees that Kurdish forces will not operate in the border area, Turkey may change its attitude towards the deployment of the Syrian Army in northeastern Syria.
Aktay claimed that Turkish troops will leave Syria after the establishment of peace and security across the country.
“Turkey does not grab anyone’s territories,” Aktay said.
According to Aktay, the US and Turkey agreed on the establishment of a 444-kilometre-long safe zone controlled by its troops on the Syrian-Turkish border.
“The depth of the created safe zone was discussed during the meeting with the US, when the Turkish side confirmed the need to create a safe zone on the border with Syria with a depth of 32 kilometres and a length of 444 kilometres, which was agreed with the US delegation,” Aktay said.
“The east of the Euphrates, in particular, the provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, which was discussed with the United States, will be fully included in the safe zone, and we managed to reach mutual understanding on this issue. The agreement reached with the Americans is clear, the Turkish armed forces will exercise control over the safe zone, the depth and extent of which will be determined by Turkey.”
Remarks by Aktay are an open demonstration of the fact that the real Turkish policy in Syria goes contrary to its public statements. Aktay claimed that the deployment of the Syrian Army in such areas as Manbij and Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) will be seen as a declaration of war. However, Syrian troops are already there. Aktay says that the US and Turkey agreed on a 444-km long safe zone, but this goal is not realistic because the Syrian Army already reached the border. Finally, Aktay says that Turkey is not seeking to grab Syrian lands. In reality, Ankara is doing every possible effort to turn the areas captured in the framework of Operations Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch into semi-independent pseudo-states in order to influence the future Syria after the end of the conflict or annex them if there is an opportunity to do so.
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