Turkey's National Security Council (NSC) stated that Ankara would not allow a fait accompli in Syria, but intends to uphold its right to self-defence.
In a statement by the NSC published on Tuesday after a meeting of the national military establishment in Ankara, it was reaffirmed that Turkey remains committed to the territorial integrity and political unity of the Syrian Arab Republic.
Nevertheless, it was highlighted that Ankara would continue its efforts to combat terrorist organizations positioned on its borders with Syria and Iraq, which are considered to be the main source of threats to Turkish citizens.
The terrorist groups mentioned in the statement are predominantly represented by PKK/KCK — PYD/YPG forces, deployed to the east of the Euphrates River. The NSC pledged to proceed with its counter-terrorism operations against these groups in Iraq, underlining that Ankara intends to cooperate with the new Iraqi government.
In regards to the lack of international cooperation in fighting terrorism, the statement said that ‘some countries' had failed to include groups such as the PKK/KCK (Kurdistan Workers' Party/ Kurdistan Communities Union ), PYD/YPG (Democratic Union Party/ People's Protection Units), and the so called Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) in their national lists of designated terrorist groups.
The statement also reaffirmed Turkey's position on Cyprus, according to which ‘no development contrary to the rights and interests of Turkey or the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would be allowed', and that Turkey would not accept unilateral moves in the region, as they would not lead to peace.
So far, Turkey has conducted two full-scale operations under the pretext of upholding its right to self-defence — Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch, which were aimed at countering terrorist threats stemming from across its southern borders.