'Türkiye's aim in Syria not Assad's defeat but finding political solution' - M5 Dergi
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‘Türkiye’s aim in Syria not Assad’s defeat but finding political solution’

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Türkiye’s aim in Syria is not to defeat Bashar Assad but to find a political solution to the decadelong crisis in the country, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said.

Speaking to reporters on his way back from Ukraine’s Lviv, Erdoğan said: “We have always been part of the solution. In the Syrian problem we have always taken responsibility. Our aim is regional peace and protecting our country from significant threats of the crisis.”

Erdoğan stressed that Ankara is not eyeing Syria and that Syria’s territorial integrity is important to Türkiye.

“We do not have eyes on the territory of Syria because the people of Syria are our brothers. We have no such problem there. The integrity of their territory is important to us. The regime must be aware of this,” he noted.

Erdoğan said Ankara takes responsibility to solve the Syrian problem for regional peace, and to protect Türkiye from threats, adding: “We need to know and accept this for once. Political dialogue or diplomacy between states can never be cut off. There are always these kinds of dialogues, there should be.”

The president’s words come after Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu called for reconciliation between the Syrian regime and the opposition.

Erdoğan also said Türkiye is in contact with Russia on every step it takes in Syria.

Erdoğan said that Russia and the regime are in solidarity and that this issue was discussed during their latest meeting in the Black Sea resort Sochi two weeks ago.

“Let’s show solidarity with Russia in such a way that we can fight against terrorism in Syria, especially in the north of Syria, whether east or west.”

Speaking on the financial resources of terrorist groups, Erdoğan said that the terrorists drill oil in Qamishli which they sell to the regime.

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s support was instrumental in helping Assad survive an 11-year conflict against opposition groups backed in part by Türkiye.

U.S., coalition feed terrorism

Erdoğan said Ankara’s main contention is the fight against terrorism in northern Syria and signaled that Türkiye is ready for an operation against terrorist groups.

He reiterated that the U.S. continues to support terrorism in Syria.

“It is the U.S. and coalition forces that primarily feed terrorism in Syria. They did it brutally and they still do it. They did not get tired of it, and they also did the same in Iraq. To whom? Again to terrorist organizations. If there is unrest in Iraq today, unfortunately, America lies behind it,” the president said.

The PKK is a designated terrorist organization in the U.S., Türkiye and the European Union, and Washington’s support for its Syrian affiliate YPG has been a major strain on bilateral relations with Ankara.

The U.S. primarily partnered with the YPG in northeastern Syria in its fight against the Daesh terrorist group. On the other hand, Türkiye strongly opposed the YPG’s presence in northern Syria. Ankara has long objected to the U.S.’ support for the YPG, a group that poses a threat to Türkiye and that terrorizes local people, destroying their homes and forcing them to flee.

Under the pretext of fighting Daesh, the U.S. has provided military training and given truckloads of military support to the YPG, despite its NATO ally’s security concerns. Underlining that one cannot support one terrorist group to defeat another, Türkiye conducted its own counterterrorism operations, over the course of which it has managed to remove a significant number of terrorists from the region.

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