Turkey will not hesitate to carry out a military operation into Syria’s Afrin region, which is under the control of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın said on Oct. 5, while adding that a de-escalation zone in the rebel-held Idlib will begin being established in the coming days.
“Turkey will continue to take these kinds of steps, as it did in the past, because it prioritizes its own national interests. Turkey will not hesitate to act for its own security when and where it is deemed necessary,” Kalın told the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) in an interview when asked whether Turkey would conduct an intervention into the YPG-held Afrin, a group Turkey considers a terrorist organization.
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) has long been reinforcing its military deployment on the Syrian border in a bid to act in the event of a threat against its borders.
Kalın recalled Turkey’s Euphrates Shield operation, which it launched to clear northern Syria from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and provide the security of an area of nearly 2,000 square kilometers.
The spokesman also spoke about the content of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s talks with Iran President Hassan Rouhani on Oct. 4 in Tehran.
“Syria and Iraq were overwhelmingly on our agenda. There is an ongoing Astana process in which Turkey, Iran and Russia are working together. We have some disagreements [with Iran] on the current state and future of the [Bashar] al-Assad regime,” Kalın said.
But the two countries, along with Russia, are working on the establishment of de-escalation zones in Syria, particularly in Idlib, Kalın stressed
“A framework on the implementation of the de-escalation zone in Idlib has been provided. Concrete steps will begin being taken in the coming days,” he added.