Turkey said on Wednesday it was seeking to create a “safe line” inside Syria that would include the flashpoint northern town of Azaz near the Turkish border.
“We want to form a 10-kilometre (six-mile) safe line inside Syria, including Azaz,” Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan told A Haber television in an interview.
Turkey has long pressed for a safe zone, backed up by a no-fly zone, under the pretext of protecting its borders and providing protection for refugees on Syrian soil. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan
Akdogan did not elaborate on the dimensions of the proposed zone or how it could be created.
Alarmed by the advances of Syrian Kurdish forces in Aleppo province near the border, Ankara has in recent days bombed their positions, defying international calls for a halt to the strikes.
The fate of Azaz is of particular concern to Turkey, with Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu making clear Ankara will not allow Kurdish fighters to take it from Takfiri insrgents.
The Turkish shelling in northern Syria has troubled an already complicated situation in Aleppo province, where government forces have made significant advances with backing from Russian air strikes.
1K 18 1