UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) — Ankara will not change its policy after threats from US President Donald Trump, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Earlier, the American leader threatened to “destroy the Turkish economy” if Ankara “crosses the border” of what is permitted. The owner of the White House also promised a “strong blow” if Turkey does not “play by the rules.”
According to Cavusoglu, if Ankara was afraid of any statements, it would not start an operation in Syria.
The diplomat also said that he could not comment on trump tweets.
“There is pressure on him, he is trying to do something, his tweets are so different that I don’t know which one to comment on. The main thing is that, in spite of any statements, Turkey will do what it has to do and considers it necessary,” – said the Foreign Minister on CNN Turk.
Cavusoglu stressed that the Turkish military was forced to launch Operation Source of Peace because of the supply of US weapons to the Syrian Kurdish Self-Defense Forces (YPG).
“The US first said: wait, we will withdraw our military. We waited, they did not withdraw. Then we agreed on a joint patrol, which turned out to be cosmetic. At the same time, they continued to supply weapons to the YPG. We put up with this for a long time, finally, our patience came to an end,” – said the diplomat.
He said that the United States cannot and forbid Turkish aviation to participate in the operation.
“The United States says that without the permission of its focal point in Qatar, no plane will take off. But we are fighting terrorism. And there are UN decisions to combat terrorism,” Cavusoglu said.
The Foreign Minister stressed that Turkey notified everyone about the start of the operation not because it needs permission. According to him, this was done due to membership in coalitions and to prevent accidents and clashes.
Here is the territory of Syria. The US has no right to command in Syrian airspace, and decide who to fly and who not,” the diplomat concluded.
“Source of Peace”
The day before, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced the start of Operation Source of Peace in northern Syria against the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Islamic State terrorist group banned in his country.
The Turkish leader described three objectives of the operation: to protect the southern border from terrorists, to protect the territorial integrity of Syria and to ensure the return of the Syrians, whom the country “cannot endlessly contain.”
This step of Ankara caused criticism from some neighboring countries, as well as the European Union.
The Turkish Ministry of Defense reported that, according to the latest data, 174 terrorists were killed during the operation.
In Syria, reported the deaths of eight civilians and 20 wounded.
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