Turkey not bound by Syria truce deal if security threatened: PM
Iran Press TV
Thu Feb 25, 2016 11:42AM
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Turkey will not honor a planned cessation of hostilities in war-hit Syria if its security is threatened.
"This ceasefire is actually for Syria, for the sides that are within its borders,' Davutoglu told journalists on Thursday.
'If threats arise against our national security from any of the sides, this ceasefire will not place its obligations on us. In such a case Turkey will ask no one permission and will do what needs to be done."
Turkey has been heavily shelling the positions of Syrian Kurdish militants who are fighting Takfiri groups near the two countries' border.
Davutoglu said that Turkey would take "necessary measures" against the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) if need be.
Turkey says the Kurdish targets it hits pose a threat to its security. Ankara accuses the YPG of being behind a recent car bombing in the Turkish capital which killed 28 people. The group denies the charge.
The United States and Russia announced on February 22 that they had reached a deal for a "cessation of hostilities" in Syria, which would begin on February 27.
The Syrian government has said it accepts the terms of the deal on the condition that military efforts against Daesh and the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front continue.
Confusion over opposition presence
Meanwhile, there is confusion whether the Saudi-backed opposition High Negotiations Committee (HNC) will commit itself to the truce deal.
While some reports say the HNC is ready for a two-week truce, chief opposition negotiator Mohammed Alloush said on Wednesday the opposition has yet to decide on the issue.
'There was no consultation of Syrians. Will all the observations, additions and amendments requested by Syrians be taken into consideration?,' Alloush said in an interview with the pro-opposition Orient TV station.
An HNC spokesman said on Tuesday the US-Russian plan for a 'cessation of hostilities' included 'obscure terms' and was heavily influenced by Russia.
'How can (Russia) offer guarantees while it is part of the problem,' Alloush said.
The Syrian government said it would work with Moscow to define which groups and areas would be included in the truce.
Syrian Kurdish dilemma
Meanwhile, the Syrian Kurdish YPG group said it would observe the plan for the cessation of hostilities but will retaliate if attacked.
Turkey regards the YPG and its umbrella group the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) as an ally of the PKK militant group, which has been fighting for an autonomous Kurdish region inside Turkey since the 1980s.
On Thursday, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the YPG is seeking to divide Syria.
"The aim of the PYD and YPG is clear: just like Daesh, they want to divide Syria to form their own management," Cavusoglu said during a televised interview.
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