Turkey is vowing to protect a town occupied by al-Qaida from falling to Kurdish fighters.
Turkey said Tuesday it wanted to invade Syria to stop Kurdish militias from consolidating control of a key border town.
Turkish forces could soon seize control of the Syrian town of Azaz and surrounding areas, according to Deputy Prime Minister Talcin Akdogan.
“What we want is to create a secure strip, including Azaz, 10 kilometers deep inside Syria and this zone should be free from clashes,” Akdogan said, according to Reuters.
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The suggestion was spurred as the Kurdish militia, the YPG was posed to take control of Azaz. Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu Agency paraphrased Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu as stating the YPG’s offensive at Azaz was part of Kurdish “attempts … to destroy the moderate opposition in Syria and close the corridor between Aleppo and Turkey.”
The “moderate” opposition that currently occupy Azaz include the Al Nusra Front – Al Qaida’s Syrian affiliate. Nusra has managed the town under a power sharing deal with the Western backed Free Syrian Army, along with a handful of small Islamist groups.
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On Monday, Davutoglu said, “We will not allow the fall of Azaz.”
“This must be clear to all in the world,” he said.
Days earlier, Turkey began pounding YPG sites across northern Syria.
Turkey opposes the YPG’s ambitions to create an independent Kurdish state in northern Syria. Across the border, another Kurdish militia, the PKK, waged a decades long insurgency against the Turkish state.
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