US border force ‘threat to national security’ says Turkey spokesman

Turkish military vehicles

Turkish presidential spokesperson, İbrahim Kalın, has said that “the steps that Turkey will take in Afrin, Manbij and Tripoli, or elsewhere, to protect its national security are absolutely not part of any plan directed against the Kurds of Syria”.

Turkish Presidential Spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, holds a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on 4 Jan. 2018

Turkish Presidential Spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, holds a press conference in Ankara, Turkey on 4 Jan. 2018

His comments came in a press statement after attending a symposium entitled “100 years after the First World War” in Istanbul yesterday.

Kalın stressed that his country will continue to take all measures to confront any developments that may constitute a threat to its national security “whether in Afrin, Manbij, Jarabulus [northern Syria], Iraq or elsewhere”, without asking for anyone’s permission.

In response to a question about conflicting US statements regarding the Border Security Force (BSF) Washington intends to form on the Syrian-Turkish border, Kalın said that “these statements, although true to a certain extent, are by no means acceptable”.

Last Sunday the international coalition to fight Daesh announced Washington’s intention to form a BSF in northern Syria, consisting of 30,000 Arab and Kurdish forces.

Turkey’s President, Tayyip Erdogan has called the BSF a “terror army” and Ankara has sent military reinforcements as a prelude to a northern Syria operation.

The Pentagon stated on Wednesday that the force to be formed in northern Syria is not a “new military” or a “conventional border guard force”, while US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, said that his country had no plans to establish any border force in Syria.

The Turkish presidential spokesperson explained that “this entity poses a threat to Turkish national security on the one hand, and it will be a step towards threatening the unity of the Syrian territories at a stage where the Geneva and Astana talks are still ongoing”.

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SOURCE: Middleeastmonitor

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