Erdogan: Putin pointed at Assad for security issues in Syria
In a head to head meeting in Russia's Sochi, Russian President Vladimir Putin asked Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to work closely with the Syrian administration to solve the security issues, Erdogan said in a press briefing in the airplane with the journalists traveling with him.
Turkey stepped up preparations for a military offensive in northern Syria to push mainly Kurdish SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces), a US ally in the region against the Islamic State but deemed terrorist by Turkey due to its affiliations with the PKK (Kurdistan Workers Party), an armed group fighting with Turkey for four decades.
Since 2016, Turkey has carried out three offensives in the area to push Kurdish militants further south to create what it calls a 30 km. deep security zone along its southern borders but says that the SDF still poses a threat to Turkey.
Answering a question about Russia’s objections to a new military offensive Erdogan said: “Mr Putin is implying that it would be much more accurate if we would prefer to resolve the issue together with the [Syrian] regime as much as possible.”
Erdogan said that intelligence agencies from both sides were already negotiating but the whole point was to get results.
'If our intelligence is carrying out this work with the Syrian intelligence but the terrorist organizations are still running their own show, you need to support us in this regard” he said.
Opposition parties have already been pushing the Turkish government to establish a dialogue with Syria’s Assad government, especially about the fate of 4 million Syrian refugees in Turkey but the Erdogan administration so far resisted to resume diplomatic relations with Damascus.