Iran to Turkey: We'll react strongly to
attack in Syria
Turkey received 'very
strong warnings' in the past few hours from Syrian
ally Iran in case Ankara launched a military strike
against Damascus, a report revealed.
August 1, 2012
TEHRAN,— Syrian ally Iran has warned
their common neighbour Turkey that it will meet a
harsh response should Ankara carry out any strikes
inside Syrian territory, a pro-Damascus daily
reported on Monday.
"Any attack on Syrian territory will meet with a
harsh response, and the Iranian-Syrian mutual
defence agreement will be activated," the Al-Watan
"Turkey has received very strong warnings in the
past few hours and the following message -- beware
changing the rules of the game," the paper added.
Iran is the closest regional ally of embattled
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but has also
striven to keep good relations with Turkey even as
the standoff over its controversial nuclear
programme has deepened with other NATO member
Tehran has enjoyed close ties with Damascus since
1980 when the Syrian government took its side in its
devastating eight-year war with now executed
dictator Saddam Hussein's regime in Baghdad, and has
signed a series of defence pacts, including in 2006
But Ankara has been a leading champion of the more
than 16-month uprising against the Assad regime and
has given refuge to large numbers of army defectors,
who have formed the kernel of a rebel army, as well
as tens of thousands of civilian refugees.
Al-Watan cited an "Arab diplomat" as accusing Turkey
of seeking to use its fears about the rebel
Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which already enjoys
rear-bases in Kurdistan region in Iraq's north,www.ekurd.net
as a pretext to intervene in Syria.
"Ankara is preparing an agreement with Washington to
intervene militarily in the Syrian (crisis), using
the Kurdish card as an excuse," the paper said.
"Turkey has agreed with the United States on a
military intervention limited to the north of Syria,
specifically the northern province of Aleppo, to
pave the way for the creation of a safe haven
guarded by the armed gangs."
Turkish newspapers have reported that Kurds in
Syrian Kurdistan (Western Kurdistan) in northern
Syria have been flying the flag of Syria's PKK ally,
the Democratic Union Party (PYD), in what they have
said is a deal with the Assad family's government,
which was a longtime backer of the Kurdish rebel
group's insurgency in Turkey.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has
warned that it is a "given" that Turkish troops
would pursue fleeing PKK militants inside Syria,
warning that Ankara would not hesitate to strike
Turkey has sent a convoy of tanks, ground-to-air
missile batteries and other weapons to the border
with Syria to further bolster its forces, the
Anatolia news agency reported on Monday.
Turkey has repeatedly carried out air and ground
operations against suspected PKK rear-bases in Iraqi
Kurdistan region. Iran has also done so against
suspected hideouts in the same area of PKK ally the
Kurdistan Iranian Party of Free Life of Kurdistan (PJAK),
2004 the PJAK took up arms for self-rule in Kurdistan province northwestern of
Iran (Iranian Kurdistan, Eastern Kurdistan). Half the members of PJAK
are women. The PJAK has about 3,000 armed
Since it was established in 1984, the PKK has been fighting the Turkish state,
which still denies the constitutional existence of Kurds, to establish a Kurdish
state in the south east of the country.
But now its aim is the creation an autonomous region and more cultural rights
for ethnic Kurds who constitute the greatest minority in Turkey, numbering more
than 20 million.
A large Turkey's Kurdish community openly sympathise with the Kurdish PKK
The PKK wants constitutional recognition for the Kurds, regional
self-governance and Kurdish-language education in schools.
PKK's demands included releasing PKK detainees, lifting the ban on education in
Kurdish, paving the way for an autonomous democrat Kurdish system within Turkey,
reducing pressure on the detained PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan, stopping military action
against the Kurdish party and recomposing the Turkish constitution.
Turkey refuses to recognize its Kurdish population
as a distinct minority. It has allowed some cultural
rights such as limited broadcasts in the Kurdish
language and private Kurdish language courses with
the prodding of the European Union, but Kurdish
politicians say the measures fall short of their
The PKK is considered as 'terrorist' organization by
Ankara, U.S., the PKK continues to be on the
blacklist list in EU despite court ruling which
overturned a decision
to place the Kurdish rebel group PKK and its
political wing on the European Union's terror list.
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