Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday said that “an integrated strategy” is needed to fight against DAESH terrorist organisation in Syria, emphasising that operations must include “air campaigns and ground troops."
Davutoglu made these remarks on his first television interview since the Nov. 1 general election which resulted in his Justice and Development Party’s (AK Party) landslide victory with gaining nearly half of the country’s votes.
During the interview on CNN International, Christiane Amanpour asked Davutoglu whether Turkey would agree to a ground force to fight DAESH.
"We need an integrated strategy including air campaign and ground troops. But Turkey alone cannot take all this burden. If there is a coalition and a very well-designed, integrated strategy, Turkey is ready to take part in all sense," Davutoglu answered.
"Otherwise, just to make a ground attack against DAESH, but continue to have a power vacuum on the ground, instead of DAESH another terrorist group may emerge. We have to solve the Syrian crisis in a comprehensive manner,” he added.
PM Davutoglu also indicated that in order for Turkey to be more involved in the fight against DAESH, an international coalition agreement is necessary to fight “all groups and regimes creating this vacuum and creating this problem.” Referring to the Syrian regime leader Bashar al Assad and his regime, whose forces have killed tens and thousands of civilians with indiscriminate attacks during the five-year long Syrian civil war.
The civil war started in March 2011, when the Assad regime responded to anti-government protests with a violent crackdown. Following the war, Syria became the world's single-largest source of refugees with a displaced population.
Speaking on a solution process for Syria, Davutoglu emphasised that there is no solution with Assad staying in power.
“The question is when and how Assad will go? What is [the] solution? ... When one day millions of Syrian refugees decide to go back to Syria, assuming that there is a peace in Syria, then this is a solution. If Assad stays in power in Damascus, I don't think any refugee will go back," he added.
Nearly 5 million Syrians have become refugees and at least 6.7 million have been internally displaced, according to UN figures.
Neighbouring Turkey is now the world’s largest refugee-hosting country with more than 2 million Syrian refugees on its soil.
The prime minister also made comments on the recent Russian plane crash in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula saying that it was "a big crime against humanity."
"This is not an attack against a Russian plane. This is an attack against all of us. Therefore it shows that if a crisis is not being solved in a particular country or region, it is difficult to contain it in other countries as well. Therefore it is right time to act together," he said.