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Turkey’s Border Security Efforts Have Protected Europe From Terror: Coalition

admin | 04 Mayıs 2017 | Son dakika

In the fight against ISIS, Turkey has protected Europe through its border operations and has been “very effective” in defeating ISIS in parts of northern Syria, the spokesman for the international anti-ISIS coalition said.

“Turkey’s role has been instrumental in closing off the border between northern Syria and Turkey. And this has been very effective in protecting Europe; nevertheless, this is something that we must continue because the enemy gets a vote. They will continue to try and infiltrate Europe and other places around the world with their acts of terror,” US Col. John Dorrian told Rudaw, referring to Turkey’s role fighting ISIS.

More than 2.6 million people have been able to return to their homes, according to the Coalition, which was formed in 2014.

Turkey, a Coalition member, has taken in more than 3 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees because of conflicts in both countries. The majority of the Syrian refugees in Turkey are of Arab origin, along with large numbers of Kurdish and Turkmen asylum seekers.

Turkey ended its border-securing Euphrates Shield Operation on March 30, which began on August 24, 2016. It was supporting the Free Syrian Army (FSA), whose fighters retook al-Bab from ISIS.

“While Syrians will return to their country, we [Turkey] will no longer find terrorists on our borders and the burden of refugees will be alleviated,” said Fatma Şahin, a Turkish mayor in the nearby city of Gazientep, in an early-April statement reported by Al-Monitor.

In doing so, Afrin, one of three cantons constituting the autonomous northern Syrian region of Rojava and located to the west of Syria, has geographically being isolated from the eastern cantons of Kobane and Cizre.

Turkey had said that future operations would go by another name, which it hasn’t announced.

Earlier last week, there were reports of skirmishes on the Turkish border between the US-partnered and Turkish forces. Turkey also bombed the Kurdish city of Derik, where the Peoples’ Protection Units (YPG) said 20 of its fighters were killed and about that many injured.

The US officially supports the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and the Syrian Arab Coalition (SAC).

On Friday, a video showed a convoy of armored vehicles flying US flags with trucks flying YPG banners driving near the border city of Qamishli in Syria, Dorrian said the presence of US forces was to monitor the situation.

“Turkey has been a longstanding NATO ally, and they have been very effective in defeating Daesh in parts of northern Syria. Certainly we want to continue working closely with them,” adding that any disagreements about who the US-led Coalition is supporting on the ground in Syria is being handled at diplomatic levels.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan will visit his American counterpart Donald J. Trump in Washington, D.C., on May 16.

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