Turkey-US agreement against ISIL takes Ankara’s concerns into account: PM
AA photoTurkey and the U.S. have reached an agreement in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) which takes Ankara’s concerns into account, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu has said, when asked by reporters July 24 if the consensus included a no-fly zone and safe haven in Syria.
The two allies will take concrete steps in accordance with this consensus, he told reporters.
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bülent Arınç said in a press conference in Ankara on July 22 that Turkey “had agreed on certain topics to support the [anti-ISIL] coalition’s efforts during a recent meeting with the U.S. special representative.”
“There is a consensus, conciliation has been reached upon these conversations but I cannot fully express its nature. Unanimity of thought and action has been reached about the issue of joint operations in the future. A related cabinet motion is now open for a signature,” he said.
Davutoğlu also noted negotiations with the U.S. on İncirlik Airbase were separate from current security operations against ISIL.
The Turkish military has “100 percent” destroyed the ISIL targets which threatened the Turkish border, he said, adding Ankara has informed its allies, including NATO and the U.N., about the operation but dismissed reports that Damascus was notified. The Turkish military did not enter Syrian territory to destroy the ISIL targets, but it would have done so if needed, he said.
His remarks followed early-morning airstrikes by Turkish F-16 fighter jets on ISIL targets in Syria. He noted the operation was the result of a decision Turkey took for its own national security.
The Turkish army’s operation in Syria was not a pinpoint strike, it was a process, and the operation will not stop, he noted.
“We are observing activity in Syria and on the border at every moment. Turkey will show the strongest reaction to the slightest movement that threatens it,” he said.
Turkey does not intend to get into war with anyone, the prime minister said. “The Syrian crisis has almost entered its fourth year. Turkey has not been part of any war, and will not be,” he stated.
Turkey to continue police raids against ISIL, PKK and DHKP-C
The prime minister said 297 people, including 37 foreigners, had been arrested in nationwide raids against suspected members of ISIL, the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and other militant groups, including the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party–Front (DHKP-C).
Davutoğlu said the police raids were part of a comprehensive process and vowed Turkey would continue operations against ISIL, PKK and DHKP-C members.
The prime minister underlined terror acts by ISIL and the PKK had parallel aspects and were synchronized.
“At the time ISIL and the PKK staged terror acts, we see that groups linked to the DHKP-C are on the streets. We think it’s no coincidence,” he said.