Turkish PM denies plans for immediate intervention in Syria

  • AFP, Ankara
  • Updated: Jul 03, 2015 16:26 IST

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Friday that Turkey had no plan to militarily intervene in Syria in the foreseeable future, refuting media speculations about an imminent operation designed to create a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border.

"No one should expect that Turkey will go into Syria tomorrow or in the near future. It's speculation," Davutoglu told the private Kanal 7 broadcaster in an interview late Thursday.

While Turkey would "not wait" to act in Syria "in the event of a threat to domestic security" Davutoglu said a unilateral intervention was "out of the question" under the current conditions.

"We will never allow ourselves to be led down that road," he said. "Our people can rest easy."

Speculation has been swirling for days in Turkish media that the government is planning to intervene in Syria to push Islamic State jihadists back from the border and halt the advance of Kurdish forces who have made gains against the extremists in the area.

Turkey's government fears that the growing assertiveness of Kurds in Syria will embolden Turkey's own 15-million-strong Kurdish minority.

Anatolia news agency reported on Wednesday that Turkey had dispatched reinforcements to the southern border province of Kilis, including tanks, anti-aircraft weapons, armoured combat vehicles and military personnel.

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