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    Turkish soldiers on a tank sit opposite the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, at the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern Turkish village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province (File)

    Ceasefire in Syria Not Obligatory for Turkey If Security Threat Arises - PM

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    The ceasefire in Syria is not obligatory for Turkey to follow if the country feels a threat against its security, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) – On Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced an agreement on cessation of hostilities between the Syrian government of President Bashar Assad and the armed opposition factions had been reached. The agreement will come into force on February 27.

    Military action, including airstrikes conducted by Syria, Russia and the US-led coalition will continue against Daesh, al-Nusra Front, as well as other UN-designated terrorist groups.

    “This ceasefire is actually for Syria, for the sides that are within its borders. If threats arise against our national security from any of the sides, this ceasefire will not place its obligations on us. In such a case Turkey will ask no one permission and will do what needs to be done. Because from that moment the issue leaves the boundaries of the Syrian problem and becomes an issue for Turkey,” Davutoglu told journalists.

    On February 13, Turkish artillery began shelling positions held by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), a Kurdish group with links to the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), in Syria's Aleppo Province.

    According to Davutoglu, shelling was a retaliatory measure within rules of engagement.

    Turkey believes that the Kurds in Syria have ties to the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group, considered a terrorist organization by Ankara, which fights for Kurdish independence from Turkey.

    Related:

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    ceasefire, shelling, Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey, Syria
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