Terrorists cannot protect NATO borders, says Turkish PM
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
Terrorist groups cannot protect NATO’s borders, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım has said, implicitly slamming a recent U.S. decision to set up a border protection army in Syria with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a group Turkey considers terrorist.
“Is the duty of protecting NATO borders left to terror groups? We can protect our own borders,” Yıldırım said at an awards ceremony in the capital Ankara, adding that NATO’s borders are Turkey’s southern borders.
Yıldırım said while Turkey is trying to turn the tide in Iraq and Syria, some countries considered friends are collaborating and setting up an army with terrorists.
He said “imperialist longing” is drawing up new designs meant to weaken Turkey’s decisive power in the region.
Yıldırım said Turkey is urging its allies to make their intentions clear and say if they will act in line with NATO responsibilities or keep collaborating with “marauders” who try to harm Turkey both at home and abroad.
“Deciding on this is all-important for us,” he added.
Yıldırım said Turkey would never make concessions on its right to sovereignty.
Turkey has been a member of NATO for over 65 years.
On Jan. 17, U.S.-led coalition spokesman Ryan Dillon announced plans to establish a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria with the SDF, a U.S.-backed group drawn up largely of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which is considered terrorist by Turkey for its links with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).