| 25 May 2024, Saturday |

Türkiye: No plans for Erdogan-Assad meeting

Türkiye on Monday confirmed there are no plans for a meeting soon between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Syrian President Bashar Assad.


“We don’t have an immediate plan for such a meeting, but our president is sending a message: If you act responsibly, if you address the security concerns and allow the political process to move forward, then I might be prepared to take that step,” Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said in a television interview.


He added that Türkiye also needs to know whether the Assad regime will take a clear stance against the PKK and its Syrian offshoots the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG).


Last week, Reuters said Assad had rejected a proposal by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to meet Erdogan. It said no rapprochement will happen before theTurkish presidential and parliamentary elections next year not to hand Erdogan a victory for free.


Meanwhile, Türkiye denied that Ankara requested a Russian-Iranian green light for its operations against the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in northern Syria.


“We don’t ask for permission, we just coordinate with our allies when we face a national security threat,” Kalin said


He also pointed out that under a deal signed in 2019, the US was supposed to make YPG/PKK ‘terrorists’ move 30 kilometers (18 miles) away from the Turkish border, but the agreement was never implemented.


Meanwhile, Turkish intelligence forces “neutralized” a senior PKK member in northern Syria.


The Turkish Anadolu Agency (AA) said Siham Mislih, codenamed “Mizgin Kobani,” was neutralized in an operation by the National Intelligence Organization (MIT).


Mislih was one of the senior YPG/PKK terrorists in Ayn Issa and plotted terrorist acts against the Turkish security forces in the Operation Peace Spring region, AA added.


Also, the Turkish Defense Ministry said Turkish security forces “neutralized” five YPG/PKK members in northern Syria.


The PYG members were plotting to launch an attack in the Operation Peace Spring, Olive Branch and Euphrates Shield zones, the ministry said in a statement.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat