Erdoğan calls for no-fly zone in Syria

After clearing its border with Syria from DAESH, Turkey repeats calls at the G20 summit for a no-fly zone inside Syria to shield civilians.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says he is working with Russian President Vladimir Putin for a ceasefire in the Aleppo region before the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday suggested Russia and the US establish a no-fly zone in northern Syria.

Turkey has long pushed for a safe-zone inside Syria to protect civilians from attacks by both the Syrian regime and DAESH terrorists.

The United States, which is leading the international coalition that has been pounding DAESH targets in Iraq and Syria, has so far been reluctant to support a safe-zone.

While there is consensus on the effectiveness of safe-zone proposal, Erdoğan said no concrete steps have been taken, which has further complicated the crisis in Syria.

Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield into Syria with opposition fighters from the Free Syrian Army (FSA), in August to eliminate DAESH and secure its southern border. The operatıon liberated the Syrian town of Jarablus, one kilometre (0.6 miles) from the Turkish-Syrian border, which was held by DAESH for nearly two years.

"We entered Jarabulus with moderate Syrian opposition and threw DAESH away. There is no DAESH in Jarabulus right now, all areas have been cleared. Now Jarabulus residents, nearly 100,000 of them, have settled down in the city," he said during a press conference after a meeting at the G20 Hangzhou Summit in China.

Erdoğan said the operation was intended to secure Jarablus and prevent Syria from falling further into chaos.

“Jarabulus is our border. From Jarabulus, unfortunately, rockets were being fired into our territory for months.”

Turkey says that without a no-fly zone Syrians will continue to flee from the war en-masse.

Ankara is speaking with Moscow about a ceasefire in Syria's northern city of Aleppo before the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday, Erdoğan said.

Western approach to refugee crisis

Erdoğan slammed the West’s obsession with security and its approach to resolving the refugee issue and urged the international community to stop differentiating between terror groups and "fight all of them".

“The West’s obsession with security and even its racist approach to the refugee problem is disgraceful on behalf of humanity.”

Quotas by the EU states on refugees escaping the war and increasing attacks by racist groups on refugee shelters in Europe have long been criticised by human rights groups.

Despite EU members agreeing on a plan in September to distribute 160,000 refugees who arrived in Greece and Italy, only a couple of thousand refugees were settled in other countries.

Turkey is home to the largest number of Syrian refugees with around 3 million people. Ankara has spent more than 12 million dollars from its own coffers since civil war in Syria eruputed in 2011, Erdoğan said.

TRTWorld and agencies