Turkey says it is acting in self-defense in Syria against Kurdish ‘terrorists’

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Turkey has justified its ongoing invasion of northeast Syria to the United Nations by saying it is working out its appropriate to self-defense beneath the U.N. Charter, according to a letter circulated Monday.

Ankara mentioned the military offensive was undertaken to counter an “imminent terrorist threat” and to make certain the safety of its borders from Syrian Kurdish militias, whom it calls “terrorists,” and the Islamic State extremist group.

Given that 2014, the Kurds had fought alongside American forces in defeating IS in Syria. But U.S. President Donald Trump ordered American troops in northern Syria to step aside final week — a move decried at dwelling and abroad as a betrayal of an ally.

Developments in Syria

The U.S. withdrawal cleared the way for Turkey’s cross-border attack on Kurdish-held locations in Syria, which is now in its sixth day and has led to rapidly shifting alliances.

The military action by Ankara sets up a prospective clash in between Turkish and Syrian government troops, as the Kurds have now turned to Damascus for assistance. It also raises the specter of a resurgent IS, because the Kurds will concentrate their consideration on the Turkish advance.

Turkey’s position is that the primary Kurdish group in Syria is linked to an outlawed Kurdish group in Turkey, the Kurdistan Workers’ Celebration. Recognized as the PKK, that group has waged a 35-year old conflict against the Turkish state that has left tens of thousands of persons dead.

Turkey’s U.N. Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu mentioned in the letter to the Safety Council dated Oct. 9 that its counter-terrorism operation will be “proportionate, measured and accountable.”

“The operation will target only terrorists and their hideouts, shelters, emplacements, weapons, autos and gear,” he mentioned. “All precautions are taken to stay clear of collateral harm to the civilian population.”

But U.N. Secretary-Basic Antonio Guterres mentioned Monday that at least 160,000 civilians have been newly displaced and that military action has currently reportedly resulted in a lot of civilian casualties.

Sinirlioglu mentioned Syria’s eight-year conflict “has designed a breeding ground for several terrorist organizations, posing a wide variety of threats to the area and beyond.”

Regardless of these claims, a lot of foreign fighters who joined IS initially located their way to Syria by way of Turkey, and it was broadly believed Turkish authorities turned a blind eye at the time.

Turkey mentioned it invoked Report 51 of the U.N. Charter, which authorizes military action in self-defense. It also cited six Safety Council resolutions because 2001 dealing with the fight against terrorism.

“Turkey’s national safety has been beneath the direct and imminent threat of terrorist organizations operating in the east of the Euphrates in Syria,” Sinirlioglu mentioned.

In addition, he mentioned, an agreement signed by Turkey and Syria in Adana on Oct. 20, 1998 “constitutes a contractual basis for my nation to fight all sorts of terrorism emanating from Syrian territory in its hideouts and in an successful timely manner.”

Sinirlioglu underscored Turkey’s powerful commitment to Syria’s territorial integrity and political unity.

He mentioned the nation “will carry out this operation in assistance of efforts to facilitate the protected return of displaced Syrians to their properties of origin or other areas of their selection in Syria.”

He stressed Turkey’s “strong commitment” to a political remedy to the Syrian conflict primarily based on a roadmap to peace adopted by crucial nations in 2012 and endorsed by the Safety Council in 2015.

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