Amid growing tensions between Ankara, Washington and Damascus over the US plans for a 30,000-strong Syrian Kurdish-led border security force along Turkey's border, Moscow has voiced its concern over the US's intentions in Middle Eastern country, and said that the force threatens Syria's territorial integrity. On Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated in no uncertain terms that Ankara considers the proposed Kurdish militia force a "terrorist army," amid reports the Pentagon has supplied the Kurdish forces with man-portable air defense systems, and that Turkey was considering airstrikes against the Kurds in the Syrian city of Afrin.
Speaking to Sputnik Turkey about the implications of these developments, senior Turkish lawmaker and Turkish Group NATO Parliamentary Assembly head Berat Conkar said that with its border force plans, Washington has effectively laid its cards on the table, revealing its true plans for Syria and the region.
"Earlier, US officials responded to Turkish criticism of their interaction with Kurdish elements with the assurance that this interaction was temporary, and connected with the need to fight Daesh," the lawmaker said. "But the current US action shows us that the Americans intend to create and maintain long-term contracts with the terrorist elements of the YPG, whose activities pose a direct threat to Turkey's security," he added.
"Such behavior by the US is absolutely unacceptable for us, and contradicts the allied principles on which our relations with the US should be built," Conkar stressed.
"Otherwise, it will be a mistake that will lead to a very serious split within the alliance," Conkar said. "Turkey has played an important role in this alliance for over 65 years, sacrificing a great deal to ensure the security in the region and the word." If the US moves forward with the Syrian Kurdish border force, it will contradict all of NATO's principles, and all bilateral agreements.
Calling Russia's position on this issue as expressed by Foreign Minister Lavrov "balanced and constructive," Conkar said that the essence of Turkish policy in relation to its Iraqi and Syrian neighbors is aimed at ensuring those countries' stability and territorial integrity, and the accompanying security and welfare of the region as a whole.
"In this sense, the words of the Russian Foreign Minister demonstrate Russia's realistic and constructive approach. With this in mind, I believe that Russia and Iran, working together with Turkey within the framework of a common strategy, will take the steps that are necessary to prevent the implementation of this illegal US initiative," Conkar said.
Mostly engaged in pragmatic cooperation with Kurdish militias in northern Syria during the common war against Daesh (ISIS), Damascus and Moscow have repeatedly voiced their opposition to US presence and operations on Syrian territory, saying that it does not accord with the principles of international law, including respect for Syria's territorial integrity.