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‘Turkey does not ask permission to attack Syria,’ says Turkish FM
The words of Mevlut Cavusoglu came just hours after a Turkish attack left nine civilians dead in northern Iraq
By News Desk - July 21 2022
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(Photo credit: BBC)

Two days after the presidents of Turkey, Russia, and Iran met to discuss a political end to the Syrian war, the Turkish foreign minister has said that Ankara “does not need anyone’s permission” to launch attacks in Syria.

“We exchanged ideas, but we never asked and we never ask permission for our military operations,” Mevlut Cavusoglu said on 21 July.

His comments come in the wake of a Turkish attack that left at least nine civilians dead, including two children, at a tourist resort in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

He emphasized that Iranian and Russian support for the government in Damascus is “unacceptable” to Turkey.

“It is clear that these two countries are against our operations today as they were in the past. Of course, the statements of these countries are obvious, what we say is important, what our president says is important. We have not received permission from anyone in the past,” the foreign minister also said.

Cavusoglu criticized Russia and the US for failing to comply with their “commitments to clear [Kurdish] terrorists from this region,” referring to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the People’s Protection Units (YPG).

Cavusoglu went on to say that “the threat will continue as long as these terrorists are here.”

A day earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that a plan to establish a 30 kilometer deep “safe zone” in northern Syria will remain on the agenda until all security concerns are addressed.

Erdogan also called on the US to pull their troops from east of the Euphrates River, accusing his NATO ally of “training and helping the YPG terrorists.”

“America has to leave the east of the Euphrates now,” Erdogan was quoted as saying by the state-run Anadolu Agency.

During the tripartite summit in Tehran, Erdogan asked for more help from Iran and Russia.

Iran and Russia instead expressed their opposition to the presence of occupation troops in Syria as well as to the theft of the country’s oil and wheat.

In recent weeks, the Turkish army has been sending reinforcements to northern Syria, especially to areas near the town of Tal Rifaat, which is controlled by the YPG.

Erdogan’s planned military operation will be the fourth of its kind mounted by Ankara in northern Syria since 2016, and will be conducted with the alleged goal of enabling the resettlement of internally displaced Syrians.

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