Turkish Foreign Minister: Possible Syria operations to be announced after MGK meeting
In response to claims that Turkey would be conducting a cross-border military operation in Syria, the Turkish foreign minister said any necessary announcements about the issue would be made after the National Security Council (MGK) meeting, which will be held June 29.
“We have a MGK meeting tomorrow; we will make the necessary announcements afterwards,” state-run Anadolu Agency reported Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu as saying on June 28 in the Black Sea province of Ordu’s Ünye district, neither accepting nor denying any of the claims.
Hürriyet Daily News reported June 27 that Turkey’s government wanted more active military action to support the Free Syrian Army (FSA) against the Syrian regime and both Kurdish and jihadist forces in Syrian territory, but the military was reluctant to do so, playing for time as the country heads for a new coalition government.
According to HDN sources, who asked not to be named, the “active support” that Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu’s government seeks from the military ranges from long-range artillery fire (not only in retaliatory terms) against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL) positions in Syrian territory to air operations, and includes entering Syria with land forces to secure a strip along the Turkish border.
Chief of General Staff Gen. Necdet Özel has delayed the government directive with justifications of international law and politics, in addition to uncertainty of reactions from the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria, as well as from its supporters, Russia and Iran, and the United States. The government has been conducting dialogue to convince the army to act.
Late June 27, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a series of tweets that he would not allow terror organizations to take advantage of the chaotic environment in Turkey’s southern neighbors, Syria and Iraq.
“We will not shut our eyes against the terror organizations’ efforts to change the chaos in the region into an opportunity,” Erdoğan said in one of his 11 tweets shared on his personal Twitter account late June 27.
“No country has put forth its stance against the incidents, first in Kobane and also in Syria and Iraq, like Turkey has,” another tweet of Erdoğan read, adding that they had only acted within their “conscious” during the past four years. “Our aim is to salve the wounds of our brothers who have been victimized and oppressed.”
Erdoğan previously criticized those who supported the “TerroristTurkey” hashtag on Twitter, after the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) launched its second offensive to capture Kobane, a Kurdish town near Syria’s border with Turkey, on June 25.