Turkish Government on Syria Offensive: “Ankara Protects NATO’s Southern Border”


Ruling AKP party spokesperson and vice chairman Mahir Ünal commented on Turkish government’s ongoing offensive in Syria’s Afrin and underlined that Ankara protects the southern border of NATO as an ally of it, on February 11.

Addressing to the members of AKP, Ünal said “We protect NATO’s southern borders as an ally of the NATO. However, we protect that border from a terrorist organisation backed by the US, the greatest ally of the NATO. This is the weirdness of our situation.”

Ünal also reminded that the US has recently declared they will form a border security unit with the Kurdish YPG forces, and said: “We live in this land for more than a thousand year and will live another thousand years by the will of the God.” He added “Those countries which do not dare to confront us directly make use of their terrorist organisations. The wars in our times are not between the countries, but between terrorist organisations backed by one country and another country.”

Turkish army officially declared on January 20 the launch of an offensive targeting the positions of the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and People’s Protection Units (YPG) in Afrin region in northwest Syria. The Turkish AKP government’s excuse was the threat against national interests and border security.

The operation has been conducted jointly with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) terrorist group.


Bekir Bozdağ, the government spokesperson, also noted that Ankara protects NATO’s southern border in Afrin operation during a speech he gave at a local congress of the AKP on February 11.

Bozdağ said “Turkey is a respectable member of both the UN and the NATO. We protect the NATO’s borders. Since Turkey is under terrorist attacks, these international organisations should raise against such attacks and be in solidarity with us.” Noting that the US Secretary of State Tillerson is going to visit Turkey next week, Bozdağ said Turkey expects understanding from both the US and other countries and wish them to “stop testing the patience of Turkey.”

Turkey is trying to secure the support of both the U.S. and the NATO by means of Afrin operation as Kemal Okuyan, the general secretary of the Communist Party of Turkey (TKP), noted at an interview he gave to soL news on January 31. Okuyan reminded that Turkey is giving the message that the US should make use of Turkey in Syria instead of the PYD through its aggressiveness in Syria.