Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed grave concern over the recent advances of Kurdish fighters in the Syrian province of Raqqa where Takfiri ISIL terrorists are operating.
“This is not a good sign…This could lead to the creation of a structure that threatens our borders. Everyone needs to take into account our sensitivities on this issue,” Erdogan said on Sunday in reaction to the advances by Kurdish fighters.
The so-called Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday that Syrian Kurdish fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) are just a few kilometers east of Tal Abyad, the administrative center of Raqqa district in Raqqa province. Tal Abyad is an ISIL stronghold.
The London based group also said the Takfiri group has pulled back from the Syrian town of Suluk, about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) southeast of the town of Tal Abyad.
Turkey considers the YPG as the Syrian branch of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which has been blacklisted by Turkey, the US, and the European Union.
Erdogan has repeatedly said the victories of Kurdish fighters could lead to the PKK dominance on northern Syria.
Meanwhile,Turkey has prevented thousands of Syrian refugees from entering the country as clashes flare up between Syrian Kurds and the ISIL Takfiri terrorists. Turkish forces on Saturday used water cannon and fired warning shots to disperse massing refugees at a border crossing in the town of Akcakale in southeastern Turkey.
On Thursday, Turkish officials announced they will restrict the flow of the Syrians into the Turkish territory. Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus has said that his country would only consider new entries in case of a humanitarian tragedy in Syria.
Turkey has been one of the main supporters of armed militancy against the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, with reports showing that Ankara actively trains and arms militants operating in Syria.
Also, Turkey has reportedly been supporting the militants in Syria by allowing them safe passage through Turkish territory. On Thursday, video footage emerged purportedly showing how members of Turkey’s National Intelligence Organization (MİT) were escorting ISIL members into Syria.
For more than four years, Syria has been grappling with a deadly crisis with Western powers and some of their regional allies – especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey – backing the militants operating in the Arab country. More than 222,000 people have been killed in the conflict so far, the observatory says.