14:01 GMT17 May 2021
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    Turkey is one of the main actors involved in the multilateral Syrian peace process. While contributing to the efforts of fighting terrorism in the Arab Republic, it also addresses its own security challenges represented by Turkish and Syrian Kurdish organizations, the PKK/KCK and PYD/YPG.

    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.

    READ MORE:Turkey Prepping for Large-Scale Op Against Syrian Kurdish Forces — Erdogan

    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.

    READ MORE:Turkey Should Revive Ties With Assad to Stop US Buildup in Syria – Observers

    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.

    Since the beginning of the Syrian Civil War, Turkey has been conducting military operations along its borders with Syria, as well as in the northern parts of the Arab Republic, where Kurdish forces, represented by the PYD/YPG, established the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, aka Rojava.

    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.


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    counter-terrorism, statement, Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), Group of Communities in Kurdistan (KCK), Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), Syria, Turkey, Middle East
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