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Tuesday 20th March 2018

Turkey’s National Security Council Monitors Syria’s US-Backed Kurds

Politics

Aya Hussein - 7Dnews Beirut

Thu, 29 Nov 2018 12:43 GMT

The Turkish National Security Council said on Tuesday November 27th it would not be indifferent to Washington-backed Kurdish YPG fighters changing the demographic makeup in Syrian areas bordering Turkey, state-owned media outlet Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

YPG Kurdish fighters constitute a large part of the Syrian Democratic Forces, a coalition of Arab and Kurdish anti-regime Syrian factions backed by the United States.

In a strongly worded statement, the Council stressed that “Turkey will continue its determined fight against terrorism to protect its people from threats arising from terror groups along its borders with Syria and Iraq.” 

Turkey will not allow a fait accompli in Syria but will use its right to self-defence, Turkey’s national security establishment warned on Tuesday. 

Ankara has long objected to US support for the terrorist PYD/PYG, and has faulted both Washington and Europe for failing to do enough to fight the Gulen Movement, which Ankara views as a terrorist organisation. 

Ankara uses the PKK’s headquarters in northern Iraq's Qandil mountains to warrant ongoing military operations under the banner of counter-terrorism. The PKK is listed as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and the EU. 

The Gulen Movement, on the other hand, is a transnational Islamic social movement that claims to be an advocate for universal access to education, and is led by US-based cleric Fethullah Gülen. But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan blames Gulen for orchestrating a bloody coup attempt in 2016.  

Known in Turkey as Hizmet, Gulenists run schools all over Turkey and around the world, including the Turkic former Soviet Republics, Muslim countries such as Pakistan and Western nations including Romania and the US, where it runs more than 100 schools.  

Followers are said to be numerous in Turkey, possibly in the millions, and are believed to hold influential positions in institutions from the police and secret services to the judiciary and Erdogan's ruling AK Party itself. 

But in the aftermath of the aborted 2016 insurgency, Erdogan ordered a purge that saw the jailing of over 55,000 people with alleged links to the Gulen movement.  

In its statement, the Council blamed "some countries” for failing to list terrorist groups such as the Gulen Movement and the YPG, which it claims is a Syria-based offshoot of the outlawed PKK. 

 

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