Turkey says it will not allow PYD to move west of Euphrates

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu says Turkish government will act accordingly towards any hostile group advancing west of Euphrates in northern Syria

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks during a joint press conference with Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic after their meeting in Belgrade, Serbia on Dec. 28, 2015.

Updated Dec 29, 2015

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has declared that the Turkish government will act accordingly towards any hostile group to Turkey moving further west of the Euphrates river in northern Syria.

Davutoglu is concerned in particular with the PKK’s Syrian wing, the PYD, which has allegedly taken over the Tishrin dam along with allied forces in a recent joint attack. The dam is located in the west of the Euphrates.

Turkey aims to keep the expansion of the PYD in check and has previously declared that it will consider any incursion to the west of the Euphrates river in northern Syria along the Turkish border by PYD as a "violation of the red line" which was set by a National Security Council meeting in late July.

Davutoglu denied that PYD-allied forces have captured the dam, saying that "There has been a dynamic situation in a zone from Tishrin to Jarablus in north of Aleppo. The armed forces who passed [west of the Euphrates] are not PYD forces according to our own information," speaking to journalists in a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart in Belgrade on Monday.

"The mentioned forces are much more Arab-dominated and allied with [US-led] coalition forces," he also stated.

The DAESH-held town of Jarablus is also located to the west of the Euphrates next to the PYD-controlled Kobane.

Turkey’s stance against any violation of its previously set red line has repeatedly been "emphasised" and "communicated" by Ankara "in an open fashion to all the related parties," Davutoglu added.

“We have closely kept watching over the recent developments around Tishrin,” he stressed.

In addition, presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin has said that the Turkish government will not allow any de facto occupation by the PYD to the west of Euphrates river or in any other area of northern Syria.

The PYD’s move could open wounds which may "cause irreparable damage" in the region, Kalin warned in a press conference on Monday.

"If these kinds of moves were allowed [by the international community] in the name of combating DAESH, then it would be impossible to preserve the integrity of Syria," as Turkish government has previously drown attention to the same problem for Iraq, he pointed out. 

"There will [inevitably] be divisions based on ethnicity and religion [in the region] which is the main problem Syria has currently been facing," he stated. 

"It will not bring any stability to Syria at all," he added.

The Turkish government has recently been alarmed by both DAESH activity near the Syrian towns of Azaz and Mare and the enlargement of northern enclaves under the control of the PYD along its long border with Syria.

Ankara has repeatedly warned the PYD not to pursue "demographic change" and "ethnic cleansing" in northern Syria.

The United Nations Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria found in its latest report that the YPG, which is the militant wing of the PYD, has committed human rights violations in the areas of northern Syria it occupies.

Earlier in October, the PYD was also accused by Amnesty International of committing war crimes in northern Syria by forcing thousands of non-Kurdish civilians out of their homes and demolishing entire villages.

TRTWorld and agencies