Turkish Prime Minister warned on Monday that Ankara won’t allow the Syrian town of Azaz to fall under the control of Syrian Kurdish fighters.
“We will not let Azaz fall,” Ahmet Davutoglu was quoted as saying by the private NTV television on his plane en route to an official visit to Ukraine.
“The YPG (the People’s Protection Units, Syrian Kurdish fighters) will not be able to cross to the west of the Euphrates (River) and east of Afrin,” he added.
Turkish artillery struck at targets of Kurdish militia at the weekend, as well as sites for the Syrian army in the area.Turkish PM Davutoglu
The Syrian government has condemned Ankara over the shelling while urging the United Nations to act.
But Davutoglu said: “The necessary intervention will be made (by Turkey) against the YPG when it is required.”
Turkey has been gravely concerned by the moves of the Kurdish fighters on Azaz and has so far defied calls from its Western partners to stop artillery bombardments of YPG positions.
The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a Kurdish-Arab militia alliance in which the YPG plays a key role, has also seized the Minnigh air base in northern Syria.
Davutoglu warned the forces to withdraw from the airport, issuing a veiled threat of possible Turkish military action if they failed to do so.
“They will withdraw from the airport,” he said, referring to the Minnigh air base.
“If not, the airport will be rendered unusable,” he added, without specifying further.
Davutoglu said the “the YPG is clearly Russia’s instrument in Syria right now,” the state-run Anatolia news agency reported, referring to the cover by Russian air forces.
“Everyone must see this. Today the PKK (Kurdistan Workers’ Party),in Turkey and YPG in Syria are clearly instruments of Russia,” he said.
“Russia is using those tools to be able to corner Turkey. Therefore, our stance has a legitimate ground.”