Turkey will focus on the evacuation of civilians from Syria’s East Ghouta in the upcoming period and its National Intelligence Agency (MİT) is carrying out work for the removal of al-Nusra from the besieged area as well, Turkish Presidential Spokesperson İbrahim Kalın has said.
Speaking in a televised interview on March 15, Kalın stressed that the thousands of civilians are under attack in East Ghouta and the issue would be among those addressed in the upcoming Astana meeting on March 16 with the participation of the foreign ministers of Russia, Turkey and Iran.
“The reasoning of the military operation by the Syrian regime and Russia in East Ghouta is based on the argument that al-Nusra is present there, with estimated figures of between 300 and 1,000 [members],” he said, adding that Ankara has told Russia that this cannot justify the continued bombardment of civilians.
The regime and Russia try to justify it by saying these [fighters] are carrying out attacks against regime and Russian targets, Kalın stated.
“Our intelligence organization is currently carrying out a work to remove al-Nusra and other elements from East Ghouta. Our friends are working to get a result, but it’s not very easy. You have to take a group of a few hundred people out of an area where 300,000 to 400,000 people live. It’s not easy,” he said.