‘Erdoğan doesn’t want to miss opportunity for a new Syria offensive,’ says former FM

News About Turkey - NAT
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The first foreign minister of the two decale-long Justice and Development Party (AKP) era, Yaşar Yakış, has evaluated President and AKP Chair Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s statements about a new military offensive into northern Syria to Rudaw TV, a TV channel broadcasting from the Kurdistan Regional Government (IKRG) in Iraq.

Erdoğan said on Monday (May 23) that a new military operation in northern Syria might be coming soon to create a “safe zone” along the borderline.

“We will soon take new steps to complete the project we started, to have secure territories of 30 km in depth along our southern borders,” he said.

Russia and US’s approval

According to Yakış, Ankara may not receive approval from either Russia or the US for a possible operation yet.

“However there might be negotiations between the US and Turkey since Turkey has a NATO card now regarding membership of Finland and Sweden,” Yakış said.

” There are two opportunities now for Turkey. First of all, Russia is busy with the war in Ukraine. Second, Turkey has the NATO card. So there is the possibility of negotiations with the US. Turkey would not miss that opportunity.”

Preparation for the elections

According to Yakış, a possible cross-border operation might be a preparation for the upcoming elections in Turkey as well.
“If Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) succeeds at war, AK Party will use it as an opportunity to gain votes”

“Operation into Syria is wrong from the beginning”

Yakış thinks that Turkey’s cross-border operations into Syria were a wrong decision from the beginning.

“Turkey wanted to use the People’s Protection Units (YPG) against the Assad Regime but YPG rejected it. After that Turkey started targeting the YPG,” he stated.

According to Yakış, Turkey should not approach the YPG as it approaches the Kurdistan Workers Party(PKK).

” Salih Muslim always said that they have no problem with Turkey. However Turkey approached the YPG as an enemy, it was a wrong decision.”

Turkey should withdraw from Syria

The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) have launched four major offensives into northern Syria — “Operation Euphrates Shield” in 2016, “Operation Olive Branch” in 2018, “Operation Peace Spring” in 2019, and “Operation Spring Shield” in 2020.

Yakış thinks that a fifth operation might also create tensions with the Iranian regime.

“From the beginning, Russia and Iran went to Syria upon the official invitation of the Syrian government. So they have a legitimate presence there. On the other hand, Turkey and the US went to Syria without the consent of the Syrian government. This should also be taken into account.” (AEK/TB/VK)


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