Turkey’s Defense Minister warns of Syria’s stability

Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar holds a virtual meeting with Turkish commanders, December 14, 2020. (Anadolu Agency)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar on Tuesday warned about Syria’s stability and called the presence of terrorists in the region unacceptable.

Turkey Defense Minister Hulusi Akar held a phone call conversation with his counterpart, Russian Federation Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu, According to an official statement issued by Turkey’s Ministry of Defense on Tuesday.

The ministers discussed bilateral and regional defense and security issues, especially in Ukraine and Syria, the statement said.

Regarding Syria’s situation, the Turkish minister stressed that “The necessary response will be given to the increasing actions aimed at disrupting the stability in the region”.

“The presence of terrorists in the region is unacceptable,” he added.

The Turkish minister remarks with his counterpart came as the president of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Wednesday that Turkey will rid northern Syria’s Tal Rifaat and Manbij areas of terrorists, confirming the targets of the new incursion for the first time and saying it will continue into other regions, according to Reuters.

“We are going into the new phase of our determination to form a 30-km (20-mile) deep safe zone along our southern border. We will clear Tal Rifaat and Manbij of terrorists, and we will do the same to other regions step-by-step,” he said.

“Let’s see who supports these legitimate steps by Turkey and who hinders them,” Erdogan added.

Ankara has carried out four operations in northern Syria since 2016, seizing hundreds of kilometers of land and pushing some 30 km deep into the country, mainly targeting the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Kurdish groups.

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