Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

American –Turkish Initiative to Close Borders in front of ISIS | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Turkish border picture taken from Arabic article

Turkish official sources yesterday confirmed that the Turkish army and international coalition forces consider that the military operation that ISIS is preparing for aims to invade areas that the Free Syrian Army and the Syrian Turkmen Army opposition groups are active in. The sources mentioned to “Asharq Al-Awsat” that Ankara has concrete evidence and videos of the mobilisation operations carried out by the extremist organisations, indicating that Turkey has prepared essential plans to address the matter and that its response will be violent and unprecedented.

Turkish and American statements reported the presence of a joint movement for military action near the Syrian border which aims to close the border to ISIS, a matter which opens the doors to many possibilities including the existence of an organisation which uses the Jarabulus area bordering Turkey as a strategic centre to smuggle fighters and other supplies.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry made a statement yesterday which reinforced the Turkish-American initiative in the areas with borders when he said in an interview with “CNN”, an American news network, that “75% of all borders in the north of Syria have been closed, and we will begin an operation with the Turks to close the remaining area which has a length of 98 kilometres”.

On his part, the President of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Khaled Khoja said in an interview with “Asharq Al-Awsat” that the opposition will not depart from the “Geneva 1” resolutions and that it will not accept deals being prepared at its expense. He said that he has obtained assurances from the US Secretary of State John Kerry on this matter during the last telephone call between them. Khoja added that the Russians and the regime have yet to make any progress on the ground despite the Free Army and opposition’s lack of power. Khoja also stated that the Syrian opposition may meet in the Saudi capital during the next two months to determine its negotiating delegation.