The Interview

Turkish foreign minister says troops to move further into Syria

In an interview with FRANCE 24, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara is planning to send troops 45 kilometres into Syrian territory to establish a no-fly zone and a safe zone.


Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Free Syrian Army forces, supported by Turkey and the West, had made good progress against the Islamic State (IS) group - and that this should serve as a model for the campaign to retake Raqqa from the militants.

He denied allegations that Turkey has entered Syria to attack the PYD/YPG Kurdish group, however, but warned that the United States has not fulfilled its promise to Turkey that those groups would not cross the Euphrates. Furthermore, Cavusoglu blasted Washington for arming the PYD/YPG group, calling it an "unacceptable" move.

Turkey’s top diplomat also squarely blamed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies for the failure of the latest ceasefire attempt, adding that the regime was also clearly responsible for the attack on an aid convoy. Cavusoglu called for an independent investigation into that attack.

Finally, Cavusoglu told FRANCE 24 that Turkey has provided the US with solid evidence of US-based Cleric Fetullah Gulen's role in the failed coup in Turkey, and that Ankara is therefore expecting him to be extradited soon.

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