'Fırat Kalkanı' - Turkey restores its positions in the region - COMMENT

Turkish authorities state that Jarabulus operations aimed at ensuring safety of the country

Baku. 26 August. REPORT.AZ/ Special forces of the Turkish Armed Forces and international coalition warplanes have launched 'Fırat Kalkanı' (Euphrates Shield) operation to clear Kaklija and Jarabulus districts of Syrian Aleppo province from the ISIS group. In other words, Turkey has entered the Syrian territory to ensure its national security and territorial integrity.

500 servicemen of the Turkish Special Forces and 2 000 fighters of the Free Syrian Army participated in the operation. 46 ISIS militants have been killed on the first day of the 'Fırat Kalkanı'. 3 Free Syrian Army fighters were wounded and taken to Gaziantep hospital, while one was murdered. According to the information, at 19:30 Turkish time, Jarabulus was under complete control of the Free Syrian Army.

Terrorists are trying to strike Karkamış district of Turkey. The local government has evacuated the residents.

The Turkish government issued a statement on the day of the operation and declared the aim to clear Jarabulus from the ISIS.

The statement declares that the operation is targeted to prevent attacks towards the Turkish state and its people, actively fight against the terrorists, which kill civilians. It was noted that the operations will continue in cooperation with the international community and the coalition forces.

Turkish authorities state that Jarabulus operation is aimed at ensuring safety of the country.

Ankara has been informing the world community of Syrian threats for several years as well as of PKK terrorists actions against Turkey from the territories of this country following Iraq.

Jarabulus is a city, which locates in the east of Kilis district of Gaziantep province, Turkey, in the west of Ayn al-Arab city (Syrian wing of the terrorist PKK PYD and YPG took control of the territory, and the area is better known as Kobani - ed.), in Azaz district east, near Manbij province of Aleppo.

According to the results of 2004 census, population of Jarabulus was estimated at 58 000 people, however, the figure after the war remains unknown. Arabs and Kurds live in the region with the majority of Arabs. In 2012, the city was under control of the Free Syrian Army and Al-Nusra group while the ISIS seized control in 2013.

A certain part of the population has left Jarabulus due to violence against them, some sought refuge in Turkey.

Over the last year, 20 local residents were killed, over 50 injured as a result of numerous missiles on Kilis district of Gaziantep province, Turkey. On August 21, 54 civilians were killed during Gaziantep terrorist attack.

The terrorist group PKK and its political supporters also threaten Turkey with Syrian militants and try to mention Turkey as the next target.

No doubt, the forces, using void in Iraqi and Syrian authority, are tring to realize this claim. It should be noted that the border between Turkey and Syria consists of 911 km length. It is the longest border in comparison with other neighboring countries. By the way, length of Turkish border with Iran is 454 km, Iraq 331, Armenia 316, Georgia 276, Bulgaria 269, Greece 212, Azerbaijan 11 km.

The central government doesn't have control over Syria's border regions with Turkey. The situation is nearly as follows:

Azaz is currently controlled by the forces, opposed to the central government. Also PPK's wings PYD and YPG, are trying to interfere the territory.

Tell Rifaat was under control of the opposition till February this year and has been seized by PYD since February, 2016 as a result of Russian air support. Alongside with Azaz and Mare, Tell Rifaat was considered an important territory on the Turkish border, controlled by the opposition.

Mare was seized by PYD as a result of the US air support.

Syrian Democratic Forces have taken control over Manbij, resulting the US air support to YPG. The organization operates under PYD and YPG management.

Al-Bab is under control of the ISIS. PYD and YPG intend to seize the territory supported by the US.

Kurdish militants consider the Turkish operation, launched to liberate Jarabulus, as an obstacle for annexion of the territories called 'Rojava', 'Syrian Kurdistan'. PYD and such other armed groups have declared 'Rojava' a state in Syria on March 17 this year.

Saleh Müslüm, one of PYD heads, tweeted regarding the Turkish operation: 'Turkey will lose a lot in Syrian quagmire. It will be defeated as the ISIS'.

With its Jarabulus operation, Turkey targets to liberate railway between the country and Syria from the terrorists.

In addition, Ankara has repeatedly stated that is against the establishment of ethnic and sectarian states in Syria as it supports territorial integrity of Syria.

As for speeches of PLA and other armed groups leaders, in this way, they express concern over Turkish Armed Forces existence in Iraq and Syria. Because Turkish army will serve for security of both the region and Turkey. It should be considered that Russia- and Iran-linked forces also exist in Iraq and Syria. Groups, as PYD have not yet made such an ambitious speeches.

However, there is a one fact, which is forgotten and kept out of sight: If ISIS group exists and controls a large territory of two countries - Iraq and Syria, residents of these places have become refugees, threats regarding deletion of the countries from the political map as a result of the terrorist activity exist, then how they should be treated?! Or does existence of the ISIS work in favor of PYD?

The US, Russia and Iran are also aware of 'Fırat Kalkanı'. The US, Germany, Iran and Russia support the operation.

This operation will have a positive impact on Turkey's stand at the international negotiations on the Syrian issue. Also, the forces, using PKK, PYD groups against the Turkish state, will be taught a lesson by these groups themselves. Whatever pathetic and emotionally as it may sound, it should be pointed out that the world had seen the power of the Turkish nation 101 years ago. Counterterrorism operation in Syria has confirmed that the power and fighting spirit aren't lost.

Turkish Interior Minister Efkan Ala said that the operation will continue till the removal of threats towards the country.

Thus, Turkish Armed Forces have joined the military operations for resolution of the important issue in the region. There is a conformity in launch of such an operation by the state, which has received nearly 3 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees.

However, the situation is not completely safe. Aircraft crisis with Russia in November last year has shown that Ankara couldn't get expected support from its allies in necessary case. Moreover, the West doesn't unambiguously say 'no' to PKK, PYD groups, which commit terror acts to collapse Turkey.

This is a worrying issue. In other words, these allies may experience serious problems for Turkey through named and unnamed groups after involving the country in the military operations in Syria. The most dangerous is to become isolated at a battlefield while being right. 

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