Turkey hits PYD twice for crossing Euphrates: PM

Turkey hits PYD twice for crossing Euphrates: PM

Turkey hits PYD twice for crossing Euphrates: PM

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The Turkish army has hit the Democratic Union Party (PYD) in northern Syria twice for violating the red line Turkey had imposed on the western part of the Euphrates River, the Turkish prime minister has said. 

“We have said ‘The PYD will not pass to the west of the Euphrates. We’ll hit them if they do.’ And we did hit them twice. A Syrian helicopter was downed last year. An unmanned aerial vehicle was hit as well. It’s not possible to do anything in Syria despite Turkey,” Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu told private broadcaster A Haber late Oct 26. 

Turkey considers the PYD an offshoot of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and therefore as a terrorist organization, unlike the United States and the European Union which see them as a political organization that can cooperate with the anti-ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) coalition. Turkey had declared the PYD’s attempt to cross the river and link its cantons in northern Syria was a red line. 

Davutoğlu recalled the PYD and the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to conspire against Turkey in a meeting on May 28, which was also an indication the PKK decided to cease the Kurdish solution process. 

“They should better know this: Afterwards, those in this region who will be on Turkey’s side will win while those who are against Turkey will lose. Everyone should make [their] own calculations accordingly,” he stressed. 

“Turkey has not laid all of its cards on the table yet. The picture will be different when it does so. Everyone should watch its steps,” he added.  

Davutoğlu said Turkey hit 458 different PKK positions in three days while clearing the Turkish border from ISIL shelters, also in three days, saying, “Those who start such a war against Turkey will bear the consequences.”

The Turkish prime minister also said Turkish Foreign Minister Feridun Sinirlioğlu went to Paris to attend a meeting on Syria before the reunion of key countries in Vienna seeking a formula to end the Syria crisis on Oct. 23. 

“Could the Syria problem be resolved in an equation where Turkey is not present? Would a plan work in Syria despite Turkey? Had such a plan worked, [al-]Assad would still have the full control of the country today. Such a plan would not work because Turkey can never leave the fate of its 911-kilometer-long border to any country’s decision. We have made it clear to the U.S. and to Russia,” Davutoğlu said.

The prime minister also said that a meeting bringing together the foreign ministers of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran would “probably” be held on Oct. 30.