Ankara will coordinate its operation in northern Syria’s Afrin region with Russia in advance if it decides to conduct it, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told NTV television channel on Tuesday.
“Threats for Turkey are coming from Afrin. We may enter this region without a warning,” Cavusoglu said.
“If we carry out the operation there, we will agree on all its aspects with our allies, including Russia,” he added
According to Cavusoglu, if the threats for Turkey are posed from the Syrian Army, Ankara’s goal will be to fight against Bashar Al-Assad’s government.
“Now they are not posing any threats to us,” he said, adding that the major threat comes from the Kurds of the Democratic Union Party and the People’s Protection Units.
On November 28, Turkey’s National Security Council said setting up observation posts in Afrin following the example of the de-escalation zone in Idlib would help to achieve peace and stability in northern Syria.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier said Afrin is a crucial region for Ankara as it poses threat to Turkey’s national security. Erdogan’s spokesman, Ibrahim Kalin, stressed that Turkey was ready to carry out an operation against the Kurds from the People’s Protection Units in Afrin.
Ankara believes that both the People’s Protection Units and the Democratic Union Party are the Syrian branches of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is fiercely fighting against Turkey’s authorities and is labeled as a terrorist organization.