Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday called for a more comprehensive notion of justice to prevail in Syria, stating that the deaths caused by conventional weapons should not be ignored.
“How can there be justice if we put those killed with conventional aside and only focus on chemical weapons? We are calling for the foundations of global peace to be laid, and for bombs not to be rained down on these countries. Our aim is to make Syria safe and livable,” Erdoğan said.
Erdoğan’s comments came after France, Britain and the U.S. launched over 100 missiles early on Saturday targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in response to a suspected poison gas attack in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma on April 7 that killed at least 78 people.
Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, US
Turkey does not stand with or against any country on Syria and its policy in the region is different from that of Iran, Russia and the United States, Deputy Prime Minister Bekir Bozdağ said on Monday.The comments by Bozdağ, the government spokesman, were in response to a reporter’s question about an earlier remark from French President Emmanuel Macron, who said Turkey’s support of missile strikes against Syria showed it had “separated” from Russia.The United States, Britain and France fired more than 100 missiles at Syria on Friday in a “one-time shot” the Pentagon said followed evidence that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad was responsible for a chemical weapons attack using at least chlorine gas.”Turkey’s Syria policy isn’t to stand with or against any country. There is no change to the policy Turkey has been carrying out,” Bozdağ told reporters in Qatar.Macron: With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks”We do not have a united policy with the United States on the YPG issue, and Turkey’s stance has not changed. We are also against the unconditional support for the (Syrian) regime and we are at odds with Iran and Russia on this,” he said.While Turkey is cooperating with both Russia and Iran to wind down some of the violence in Syria, Ankara has long demanded that President Bashar al-Assad must go and has backed rebels against him. Assad’s main supporters are Moscow and Tehran.Turkey has also been at loggerheads with Washington over U.S. support for the People’s Protection Units (YPG). The YPG is the armed wing of the Democratic Union Party (PYD), which is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States.Turkey supported the air strikes by U.S., British and French forces, saying the move sent a message to Assad.Bozdağ said Turkey did not hesitate to work together with any country who defended “correct principles” on Syria.After Syria strikes, Britain’s May to face critical parliamentWhite House: Trump wants US forces in Syria to come home as quickly as possibleFrance convinced US to ‘stay in Syria’: Macron
Turkey’s cross-border operations
The president also touched on the success of Turkey’s military operations, adding that they would continue to ensure safety.
“Turkey does not have its sights set on anyone else’s land. Our operations have two goals; the first is to abolish the threats targeting our country, and the second is to create a safe, peaceful and habitable area for Syrians living in our country,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch on Jan. 20 to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorist groups from Afrin in northwestern Syria amid growing threats from the region. On March 18, Turkish-backed troops liberated Afrin town center, which had been a major hideout for the YPG/PKK since 2012.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
Turkish army neutralizes 38 terrorists in one week
A total of 38 terrorists were “neutralized” as part of counter-terror operations held across Turkey over the past week, the Interior Ministry said on Monday.Turkish authorities often use the word “neutralized” in their statements to imply that the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.In a statement, the ministry said security forces had carried out 487 counter-terrorism operations on April 9-16.The ministry specified that 18 of the terrorists were killed, six were captured, and 14 surrendered to authorities.Three Turkish soldiers martyred in SE TurkeyDuring the operations, 149 people were also arrested for allegedly aiding and abetting the PKK terrorist group and 75 others for their suspected links to the Daesh terrorist group.The PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — resumed its armed campaign against Turkey in July 2015.Since then, it has been responsible for the deaths of more than 1,200 Turkish security personnel and civilians, including a number of women and children.Another 702 people were arrested over alleged links to the Fetullah Terrorist Organisation (FETÖ) and 21 others over links to leftist terrorist groups.FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gulen orchestrated the July 2016 defeated coup, which martyred 250 people and injured nearly 2,200.28 terrorist shelters destroyedDuring the operations, the security forces also destroyed 28 shelters, among them a number of caves, and two hand-made explosives in operations held in the eastern Tunceli, Sirnak, Bitlis, Hakkari, Mus, Van, and Bingol provinces, the statement said.In addition, 1,145 tons of ammunition, seven hand-grenades and 18 weapons were seized.According to the statement, 2,697 anti-drug raids were conducted across the country, which led to 467 arrests.A total of 5,522 people were also held across the country in the fight against irregular migration. The operations saw 164 suspects arrested for aiding the illegal crossings, the statement added.
Turkey welcomes Syrians with open arms
“We will continue to host refugees whether we receive funding or not,” Erdoğan said.
Turkey has accepted some 3.5 million refugees from Syria. The EU says it has allocated all of the 3 billion euros ($3.7 bln) it had promised Turkey for 2016-17, though less than 2 billion of that had so far been disbursed due to procedural issues, which Ankara sees as petty.
Russia to study draft UN resolution on Syria proposed by US, France, UK
Russia’s Foreign Ministry said on Monday that Moscow would study a draft U.N. resolution on Syria put forward by the United States, Britain and France, the Interfax news agency said.”We still have to study it. It has only just been introduced, work must continue, we do not immediately reject it, we need to look,” Pyotr Ilichev, director for the foreign ministry’s department for international organisations, was quoted as saying by the news agency. Macron: With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the TurksTurkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, USAmerica has three goals in Syria: US’ Haley
NATO chief arrives in Turkey for official talks
NATO’s top official arrived in the capital Ankara on Monday for official talks in the wake of the U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the Assad regime in Syria.Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg met with Turkish Defense Minister Nurettin Canikli after being welcomed by a military ceremony at the Defense Ministry. No further details were given about the gathering.The NATO chief is also to meet with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu during his visit on Monday.Video: NATO chief meets Turkish FM in Ankara The U.S., U.K., and France early Saturday launched airstrikes on reported Assad regime chemical weapons facilities in Syria.The strikes followed the Assad regime allegedly carrying out a chemical attack in Douma, Syria which killed 78 civilians and injured hundreds of others.
Macron: With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks
French President Emmanuel Macron confessed in an interview that joint strikes conducted by France, Britain and the United States targeted Turkey’s relations with Russia.“With those strikes we have separated the Russians and the Turks on this. The Turks condemned the chemical weapons,” Macron said in an interview broadcasted by BFM TV, RMC radio and Mediapart online news.France, Britain and the U.S. launched over 100 missiles early on Saturday targeting what they said were three chemical weapons facilities in Syria in response to a suspected poison gas attack in Eastern Ghouta’s Douma on April 7 that killed at least 78 people.Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, USFrance convinced US to ‘stay in Syria’: MacronMacron said that the strikes were “perfectly carried out,” adding “All of our missiles reached their target.”The French president stated that Russia, which is one of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s staunchest allies, was complicit in the Syrian government’s actions.”Of course they [Russia] are complicit. They have not used chlorine themselves, but they have methodically built the international community’s inability to act through diplomatic channels to stop the use of chemical weapons,” Macron said of Moscow.Turkey says not siding with anyone on Syria, policy different from Iran, Russia, USHe added that he had convinced U.S. President Donald Trump to keep troops in Syria for the long term.“Ten days ago, President Trump was saying ‘the United States should withdraw from Syria’. We convinced him it was necessary to stay. We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term,” Macron said.Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected ferocity.America has three goals in Syria: US’ HaleyAfter Syria strikes, Britain’s May to face critical parliamentAssad apologists work in UK universities: ReportPutin, Rouhani discuss US-led airstrikes on Syria