As the sixth day of Ankara’s Olive Branch Operation in Syria is drawing to a close, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu answered some journalists’ questions, revealing the country’s stance on official Damascus as well as current state of the US-Turkey row over Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurds.
On Ankara-Damascus Relations
Preservation of the territorial integrity of Syria is the common goal of Ankara and Damascus and the Turkish troops are not going to attack government forces in Syria, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
“Once they (the Syrian Armed Forces) shot down our aircraft and we responded. While they do not attack us, we do not need to consider them as our target. Up to this day, we have not taken such actions, Cavusoglu told reporters.
Damascus knows that the YPG militias (People’s Protection Units) want to divide Syria. Whereas Turkey and Damascus as well as the opposition forces are all support the territorial integrity of Syria within its current borders. We believe that the Syrian regime will not cooperate with terrorists,” he added.
In the wake of the start of Ankara’s Olive Branch Operation in Afrin, Damascus has strongly condemnedthe offensive, calling Turkey’s move “a violation of the country’s sovereignty.”
Syrian President Bashar Assad said that Turkey’s attack against Afrin is “inseparable from policy, that was pursued by the Turkish regime since the first day of the Syrian crisis and which is based for the most part on supporting terrorism and terrorist groups under different names.”