BEIRUT, LEBANON (11:20 A.M.) – The current protection of the Kurdish-led forces in Syria could be considered an act of war by Turkey, Turkish Presidential adviser Yasin Aktay said on Saturday.
“If the Syrian regime wants to enter Manbij, Ayn al-Arab [Kobani] and Qamishli to provide protection for the Kurdish People’s Protection Units [YPG], that will be viewed by Turkey as the declaration of war and it [Damascus] will face a relevant response,” Aktay stated.
According to Aktay, if the Syrian government assures Turkey that the Kurdish-led forces will not operate along the border, Ankara may change its position on the Syrian military.’s advance in the northern part of the country.
In regards to the Turkish military presence in northern Syria, Aktay said Turkey is not planning to keep a permanent presence in Syria, adding that Ankara is not interested in land grabbing.
“Turkey does not grab anyone’s territories,” Aktay continued.
Aktay also said that Ankara has agreed with Washington to create a 444-kilometre-long (275 miles) safe zone controlled by its troops on the Syrian border.
“The depth of the created safe zone was discussed during the meeting with the US, when the Turkish side confirmed the need to create a safe zone on the border with Syria with a depth of 32 kilometres [19 miles] and a length of 444 kilometres, which was agreed with the US delegation,” Aktay said.
“The east of the Euphrates, in particular, the provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, which was discussed with the United States, will be fully included in the safe zone, and we managed to reach mutual understanding on this issue. The agreement reached with the Americans is clear, the Turkish armed forces will exercise control over the safe zone, the depth and extent of which will be determined by Turkey,” Aktay added.