Davutoglu says Turkey will not let Syrian town of Azaz fall

Turkish PM Davutoglu says Turkey will not let Syrian town of Azaz fall under PYD control

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu speaks to the media at the Erzincan Airport in Erzincan, Turkey on February 13, 2016.

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday that Turkey will not allow the Syrian town of Azaz across from the Turkish border fall under the control of PYD which is considered as PKK terrorist group's Syrian wing by Turkey.

Speaking on his plane en route to an official visit to Ukraine, Davutoglu said “We will not let Azaz fall. The YPG will not be able to cross to the west of the Euphrates (River) and east of Afrin.”

"YPG elements were forced away from around Azaz. If they approach again they will see the harshest reaction” he added.

YPG is the militant wing of PYD which Ankara considers as Syrian extension of PKK terrorist organisation and US considers an ally against the DAESH terrorist group.

Turkey has long been confronted with armed attacks in its southeastern regions by the PKK, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US, and EU. 

Davutoglu continued his statement by warning the forces to withdraw from the Syrian Menagh Air Base.

"They will withdraw from the air base. If not, Turkey would make the air base unusable," he said.

Davutoglu said that the government warned the group many times to withdraw from the area, which has recently been captured, however it chose to violate the Turkish territory, shelling military outposts near the Turkish border. 

On Feb. 13, Turkish Armed Forces started to shell YPG targets near the town of Azaz in northern Syria.

Speaking on the same day, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the shelling had taken place under "the rules of engagement against forces that represented a threat in Azaz and the surrounding area.”