Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu has said Turkey would “do what is necessary for its security” following comments of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan regarding the escalation of cross-border attacks by the YPG/PKK terror group.
Speaking at a news conference in Ankara on Tuesday, Çavuşoğlu said that despite the promise of the US and Russia to keep “terrorists 30 kilometers down from the border… promises have not been kept.”
Claiming the US and Russia are also responsible for the recent attacks, Çavuşoğlu added “we need to sort this out ourselves. We will cleanse this region of terrorists and we will do whatever is necessary for our security.”
Five mortar shells were believed to be fired from YPG/PKK-controlled areas. Two shells landed near the customs area, one fell on a roof of a home, one landed near the military compound and another fell in a park in Karkamıs in southern Turkey.
Ankara interpreted Sunday’s guided-missile attack of the YPG, which killed two Turkish police officers, as “the final straw” and said Turkey was determined to eliminate threats originating in northern Syria.
Sunday’s attack also received criticism from the US. The US Embassy in Ankara expressed condolences to the police officers’ families and condemned the reported mortar attacks. Çavuşoğlu said the US message lacked sincerity since it had armed and trained the YPG/PKK terrorists.
Stray rockets and mortars occasionally land in Azaz, Marea, Al-Bab, Jarablus, Afrin, Tal Abyad and Ras al-Ain in Syria as well as in the southern provinces of Turkey. Kilis and Gaziantep repeatedly suffer from cross-border shelling.
The terror group also carries out car bombings in civilian settlements. Attacks include advanced heavy weapons such as TOW missiles, multi-barrel rocket launchers, Katyusha, Grad missiles, and US and Russian-made rocket launchers and mortars.