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MIDEAST > Turkey ‘stopped helping’ al-Qaeda near Syria border: Report

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A youth sits on a barricade as people carrying their belongings walk at the Syrian border crossing of Bab al-Hawa, at the Syrian-Turkish border October 22, 2013. Picture taken October 22, 2013. REUTERS photo

A youth sits on a barricade as people carrying their belongings walk at the Syrian border crossing of Bab al-Hawa, at the Syrian-Turkish border October 22, 2013. Picture taken October 22, 2013. REUTERS photo

Turkey has recently ceased aiding al-Qaeda-linked groups near the Syrian border, Democratic Union Party (PYD) leader Saleh Muslim has said, according to daily Taraf.

The PYD, which is known as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party’s (PKK) wing in Syria, is fighting in northern Syrian towns against al-Qaeda-affiliated jihadist groups, in particular the al-Nusra Front and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS).

“The gangs don’t attack us from Turkey anymore, like they used to do. That is good news. We always said this and we continue saying it: We want friendly relations with Turkey. We do not want independence or a federal structure,” he was quoted as saying by the daily.

Muslim said the recent PYD victories over the militant groups were partially due to the fact Turkey had stopped providing support.

“The international pressure also had an impact. These groups threaten Turkey’s security as well,” Muslim said.

November/08/2013

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