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Ankara Confirms its Readiness to Respond to any Move in Syria’s Afrin | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag. (AP)

Ankara – Turkey has confirmed that it would respond immediately to any action or attack against it from the Syrian city of Afrin, which is under the control of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its military arm People’s Protection Units (YPG), or against any other area on the Syrian side.

Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdag said in an interview with media representatives in Ankara Monday that his country did not and will not hesitate to take any steps that would preserve its national security “when it is necessary.”

Turkey is directly concerned with the developments and unrest behind its southern border, and no one should expect it to ignore what is happening in its vicinity, especially that it shares a 910 km border with Syria, Bozdag added.

His statements came only two days after Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened the door again to the possibility of Turkey repeating operations similar to the Euphrates Shield in northern Syria to prevent what he called a “terrorist state” in areas controlled by Kurdish militias.

Reports have repeatedly tackled “Saif al-Furat” (Euphrates Sword) operation in which Turkey is preparing to implement along with factions loyal to the Free Syrian Army in order to surround Afrin and expel Kurdish militias to the east of the Euphrates River.

Meanwhile, Bozdag reiterated his country’s rejection of the support provided by Washington to the Kurdish YPG and supplying them with weapons in the pretext of relying on them in Raqqa operation and the fight against ISIS.

He said that the US resorting to cooperation with the Kurdish militias to confront the ISIS terrorist organization is a “grave” mistake.

Regardless of the tactical motives, Bozdag noted, fighting ISIS with the help of another terrorist organization is a great mistake.

The United States continues to supply the SDF Alliance with arms as it considers it an ally and relies on it in the war against ISIS and in liberating Syria’s Raqqa city.

The US confirmed that the majority of the weapons are sent to the Arab forces participating in the alliance, but the armaments do not include heavy weapons or tanks.