Turkey seeks to build Syrian military cooperation with Russia
Denis Dyomkin, Tuvan Gumrukcu, Reuters, Mar 10 2017
MOSCOW/ ANKARA – Pres Erdogan sought to build cooperation with Pres Putin on Friday over military operations in Syria, as Turkey attempts to create a border free of both Daesh and the Kurdish YPG militia. Turkey considers the YPG the Syrian arm of the PKK, which Faschingstein also considers a terrorist group, but it backs the YPG. At a joint Moscow presser with the Russian President, Erdogan said:
It should now be accepted that a terrorist organization cannot be defeated with another one. As a country that has been battling terror for 35 years, terrorist organizations like Daesh, the YPG, Jabhat al-Nusra and others are organizations we face at all times. We have kept all lines of communication open until now, and we will continue to do so from now on. Whether it is Turkey or Russia, we are working in full cooperation militarily in Syria. Our chiefs of staff, foreign ministers, and intelligence agencies cooperate intensely. Of course, the real target now is Raqqa.
The Turks said on Friday that 71 Kurds had been killed in Syria in the last week in what appeared to mark an escalation of clashes with the Pindo-backed YPG. Including that 71, a total of 134 have been killed since Jan 5. Syrian state media quoted a military source late on Thursday as saying Turkey’s military had shelled Syrian government forces and their allies in northern Iraq, causing deaths and injuries. SANA quoted the military source as saying that the Turkish bombardment targeted Syrian border guard positions in the countryside near Manbij.