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Davutoglu says Turkey not bound by Syria deal

ANKARA (AVRUPA TIMES)-Turkey is not bound by the U.S.-Russia agreement to halt hostilities in Syria, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Thursday.


“All must know that this ceasefire is only valid for Syria and the warring sides in the country,” he told the media during a trip to Konya province. “If any of them poses a threat to Turkey's security, it becomes non-binding for us.”


He added: “Turkey will not seek permission from anyone when it comes to its own security but will do the necessary. Because when it happens, it becomes an issue not only for Syria but also for Turkey.”


Washington and Moscow this week announced a “cessation of hostilities” in Syria that is scheduled to take effect at midnight Friday local time. It is hoped the deal will allow aid to be delivered to desperate Syrians.


Daesh and al-Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate, the Nusra Front, are excluded from the agreement.


Davutoglu criticized the lack of reference to the Syrian affiliates of the PKK, which resumed its 30-year armed campaign against the Turkish state in late July 2015.


The YPG, the armed wing of the PYD, has been supported by U.S. airstrikes in its fight against Daesh and more recently by Russian warplanes as it sought to expand its territory in northern Syria.


“The YPG is a terrorist organization for us, just like Daesh and al-Nusra,” Davutoglu said, referring to al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch. “There should have been a reference to them in the truce.”


Turkey accuses the YPG of involvement in Feb. 17 car bomb attack in Ankara that killed 29 and had earlier shelled YPG positions in Syria in response to artillery fired from Syria into Turkey.


According to UN figures released several months ago, more than 250,000 people have been killed since the Syrian war began in 2011.


This week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that around 400,000 people had died and 12 million people had been displaced since the war started.

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