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Iran Press TV

Turkey resolute in fighting terror, needs no permission from Israel: Ankara

Iran Press TV

Tue Dec 25, 2018 04:41PM
Turkey says it is determined to continue its "fight" against terrorism, stressing that Ankara does not need any "permission" from the Israeli regime to fight terror.

"It is out of the question for Turkey to get permission or consent from Israel" to fight against terrorism, Turkey's English-language Hurriyet Daily News newspaper on Tuesday quoted Turkish Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin as telling reporters the day before.

He said Ankara would equally need no permission from any "country" in the world to carry out its anti-terror operations.

Kalin's comments came after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a Twitter post on Sunday, attacked Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over Ankara's counterterror operations in northern Syria, calling him "the occupier of northern Cyprus."

The Turkish leader hit back at Netanyahu in a tweet, saying the Israeli premier is heading "state terror."

Netanyahu "may have confused his language. Rather, he wanted to say that they are invading Palestine and murdering women and children," Erdogan added, calling the Israeli prime minister as "the voice of the tyrants."

Furthermore, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Monday likened Netanyahu to Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) militants, which Ankara views as terrorists.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Kalin described as "historic" the December 14 "telephone call" between Erdogan and President Donald Trump of the United States that "led" to Washington's decision to pull out its 2,000 ground troops from Syria.

The spokesman added that Trump's decision was made as a "result" of Erdogan's convincing argument over the phone with the US leader.

He said that Erdogan told the US president "loud and clear" that Ankara and Washington did not need the Syrian Kurdish militants of the People's Protection Units (YPG) to fight against the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, two groups in war-ravaged Syria that Turkey lists as terrorist organizations.

Late last year, Washington infuriated Ankara by announcing a plan for the formation of a Kurdish militant force in Syria near the Turkish border. The plan prompted Turkey to launch a cross-border military operation code-named Operation Olive Branch on January 20 inside the Arab country with the declared aim of eliminating YPG from northern Syria, particularly the Afrin region.

The US-backed YPG, which controls swathes of Syria's northern border region, forms the backbone of the so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), an anti-Damascus alliance of predominantly Kurdish militants supported by Washington.

Ankara views the YPG as the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has been fighting for an autonomous region inside Turkey since 1984.

Turkey, which has long been exasperated by the US support of the YPG Kurdish militants in Syria, warmly welcomed Trump's abrupt decision and stressed that both Ankara and Washington were coordinating to ensure there is no "authority vacuum" once the American troops withdraw.

Damascus has given a degree of authority to the Kurdish regions to run their own affairs. Washington, however, used the power vacuum to establish a foothold in those regions with the help of militants.

However, Ankara is strongly against recognizing the territory on its border, fearing it will stoke the separatist ambitions of Kurds in Turkey.

A US-led military coalition has been conducting airstrikes against what are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any authorization from Damascus or a United Nations mandate.

The military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of destroying Daesh.

Over the past few years, Israel has frequently attacked military targets in Syria in what is considered an attempt to prop up terrorist groups that have been suffering heavy defeats against Syrian government forces. The Tel Aviv regime has also been providing weapons to anti-Damascus militants as well as medical treatment to Takfiri elements wounded in Syria.

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