While Turkey sent aid trucks and ambulances to tens of thousands of people fleeing to the Turkish border to escape the regime’s raids and Russian bombing in Aleppo, the Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the Syrian regime’s control over some parts of the connecting roads between Aleppo and the Turkish border poses a threat to Ankara.
Erdogan expressed his anger at US support for Syrian Kurds who are considered to be close to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). He called on Washington to choose between Turkey and “the terrorists of Kobani” as he described them.
Meanwhile, in a statement to Asharq Al-Awsat, the spokesman for the Syrian High Negotiations Committee Munther Majos played down the possibility of a breakthrough at the forthcoming international meeting in Munich next Thursday. He said that “the opposition has not and will not rely on the role of the United States and instead, we rely on what sister nations of the Syrian people are doing and will do”.
A former representative for the Justice and Development Party in the Turkish parliament Mustafa Agaoglu told Asharq Al-Awsat that Turkey has done everything in its power to let Syrian refugees enter but that its security measures to ensure the protection and control over its borders may delay the entry of some waves of asylum. However, he also stressed that Turkey was right to tighten these procedures.
Agaoglu did not rule out Turkey taking action against ISIS or other militant factions in Syria in order to maintain the security of its borders. He also asked about the parties that provide these groups with money and how weapons reach Kurdish factions fighting on the Turkish-Syrian border which Turkey classifies as terrorist organisations.