Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the Turkish Army has entered Syria to end the rule of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whom he accused of terrorism.
“We entered Syria to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. We didn’t enter for any other reason,”the Turkish president said at Inter-Parliamentary Jerusalem Platform Symposium in Istanbul. Quoted by Hurriyet daily.
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Some political analysts think that this may be a deliberate action to try to undermine outgoing efforts to ease the tension between Russia and USA. Russia has not made any official statement about what Erdoğan has said on the other side there are those who have said that official Ankara wants to suppress Kurdish forces in Syria and prevent them from connecting to de facto autonomous Kurdish areas into one enclave south of the Turkish border.
Turkish army, with air support from the U.S.-led coalition, entered Syria on Aug. 24, starting the anti-terrorist operation Euphrates Shield, which was not coordinated with Damascus. By evening, the border town of Jarabulus had been captured from Islamic State.
Turkish operation was approved by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, who at that time arrived on a visit to Ankara, while the Russian Foreign Ministry have expressed deep concern.
“Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice,” Erdogan also said that in his estimation “almost 1 million people have died in the conflict in Syria.” The latest UN estimate stands at 400,000 people killed in the five-year civil war.
Turkish leader accused UN of inability to influence the situation in Syria. “The world is bigger than five,” referring to the number of permanent members on the UN Security Council. This attack on UN regarding its lack of efectivnes and recent moves from Ankara are consdered as a message to the international comunity that Turkey is a big player on the world stage and that Syrian question can not be solved without Turkish involvment.