Retired Turkish Lieutenant-General Hakki Pekin, former head of the Turkish General Staff's Intelligence Department, stressed that the US policy in Syria prompted Turkey to launch a military operation in Afrin.
He also pointed out the US' desire to spoil relations between Turkey and Russia.
"The US and its coalition want to harm cooperation in the Turkey-Russia-Iran format. In fact, if there were no cooperation in such a format and if Russia's presence [in Turkey] was less significant, Syria would now be split. We should speak about this openly. Russia is doing its best to ensure that Syria is not dismembered," Pekin emphasized.
As for Turkey, it "aims to maintain order and security in the Afrin region rather than occupy the area," Pekin said, referring to Ankara's crackdown on the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), blacklisted by Turkey as a terrorist organization.
He was echoed by another retired Turkish general, Naim Baburoglu, who recalled that "the territories to the east of the Euphrates are currently controlled by the United States" and that "the region has been transferred to the Kurdistan Workers' Party" (PKK), which Ankara also sees as a terrorist group.
"The US intends to create a garrison state there – a barracks-style structure which will be controlled by Washington. The region chosen by the US for the implementation of this plan is of great importance," Baburoglu said.
He explained that 70 percent of energy resources are concentrated in the territories to the east of the Euphrates, which constitute 30 percent of Syria's territory.
"In other words, the United States is currently assuming control over a strategically important area of Syria," Baburogly underlined.Afrin and that Washington "does not want the Kurdistan Workers' Party to suffer losses in the region."
Babugorlu urged Turkey to continue its offensive on the territory to the east of the Euphrates, saying that Ankara should not fall into a US trap under the guise of a "security zone."
"If Turkey fails to avoid such a trap, a "terrorist quasi-state" will be created in the area, something that was in place in the 1990s in Northern Iraq. For this reason, Turkey must oppose the US proposal to establish a security zone in Syria and instead establish a dialogue with the Syrian government," he concluded.
The views and opinions expressed by Ismail Hakki Pekin and Naim Baburoglu are those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.
The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.