Turkey can eliminate threats inside Syria without entering there, main opposition leader says
DHA PhotoTurkey can eliminate threats posed by various organizations inside Syria, including U.S.-allied Syrian Kurdish militants, without necessarily entering the neighboring country’s territory, the main opposition leader has said, warning the government over the consequences of a ground operation which he said would be “suicide.”
“Organizations in Syria need to heed Turkey’s sensitivities. Not only the PYD [the Democratic Union Party]: all organizations. Turkey is a powerful state. Turkey can prevent the passage to the west of the Euphrates without actively entering [Syria],” Republican People’s Party (CHP) leader Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu said in an interview with daily Milliyet published on Nov. 17.
“I don’t know whether a ground operation along with the Western alliance is being planned. That would be suicide if Turkey says it would launch a ground operation independently. To enter another state’s territory, you need to have international legitimacy because of a threat directed at you,” Kılıçdaroğlu also said.
NATO member Turkey is part of the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in Syria, but it sees advances by autonomy-seeking Kurds, led by the PYD, as a threat to its own national security, fearing they could stoke separatism among Turkish Kurds.