Turkey Turkey Syria Relations

Turkey will not hand over al-Bab to Syrian government forces

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Claims that Turkey will hand over the Syrian town of al-Bab to President Bashar al-Assad’s forces after driving out Islamic State are not true, Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus told.

The US-led international coalition against Daesh terrorist group does not provide effective support to the Turkish military operation in northern Syria near the city of Al-Bab, Kurtulmus said.

“Unfortunately, the coalition forces do not give sufficient support to the operations in al-Bab. I speak of it openly,” Kurtulmus said.

WE ARE NOT CONDUCTING THIS OPERATION IN ORDER TO HAND OVER TERRITORIES

“We are not conducting this operation in order to hand over territories to the regime. We have repeatedly said from the very beginning that the operation is being conducted in order to strengthen our security and eliminate threats from the South,” Kurtulmus explained.

On December 29, 2016, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also criticized the coalition forces, saying that the United States provided no air support to Turkey’s military in the Euphrates Shield operation against Daesh. The operation is conducted in northern Syria by Turkish military together with the Free Syrian Army fighters and with air support by the US-led coalition.

Last week, Turkey and Russia began jointly striking Daesh in Al-Bab, which is the first time the countries’ aviation conducted a joint aerial campaign.

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