'Are Turkish soldiers your mercenaries?' deputy PM asks
Turkey demands a clear plan about the future of Syria, Deputy PM Yalçın Akdoğan says.The international community should act together against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan has said, reacting to the implications and calls that Turkey should do more.
"If you are that far sincere about the matter, let's do this together. Are the Turkish soldiers your mercenaries?" the deputy PM asked in a televised interview late on Oct. 10.
Getting involved in the anti-ISIL efforts directly would be a lithium test for the West, he implied.
"The Turkish soldiers will go there [to the Syian soil] and fall martyrs," he said, adding that such an offer was unrealistic, as he also asked for a concrete plan for the "future of Syria."
Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has argued that Turkey would consider a boots on the ground operation agaist ISIL if only the Bashar al-Assad regime was also included in targets as the U.S. has declared that the goal for today was limited to stopping the jihadist militants.
The White House emphasized Oct. 10 "the importance of quickly getting Turkish military help" in the fight against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, as it said an issue that came to the forefront this week with the increased clashes in the Syrian border town of Kobane.
Monaco "expressed appreciation for Turkey's support to ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and Syria and underscored the importance of accelerating Turkish assistance as part of the comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," the White House said in a statement.
Turkey has agreed to support the training and equipping of the moderate opposition in Syria, the U.S. State Department said Oct. 10, noting that a U.S. military team would visit Ankara next week to discuss the matter.
"Turkey has agreed to support train-and-equip efforts for the moderate Syrian opposition," spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters.
Turkey would take a stance by evaluating the positioning of the international community, Akdoğan said.
"The issue is not al-Assad," he said. "Turkey would go into this for its own national benefits and security."
Commenting on calls for increased humanitarian aid to Kobane, where Kurdish forces have been resisting to ISIL for more than three weeks, Akdoğan said aid was continuing to be transferred to the region.