The Free Syrian Army will probably be deployed to western Syria to counter Daesh if ongoing conflicts around it get resolved, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said.
In remarks made during an exclusive interview to A Haber television channel Saturday, Cavusoglu said: “If ongoing armed conflicts that are taking place around western Syria get resolved, the Free Syrian Army will be shifted to western side to combat Daesh.”
He also reiterated Turkey’s resistance to the YPG, an armed wing of the Syrian terrorist group PYD.
Highlighting that Turkey's concerns over the YPG are well known to the U.S., he added: “During my latest official visit to the U.S. along with our President [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, we stated Turkey’s position on that issue clearly.”
He also said that the Turkish army will not enter Syria.
“Turkey will support from air and land. We have our opportunities in this way. So, we will clear the region from Daesh,” he said.
He said that the Manbij pocket, a 60-mile (98-kilometer) stretch along Turkey’s southern border with Syria, should be rebuilt and cleaned as a security zone for Syrians.
The Manbij pocket is a “red line” of demarcation for Turkey, which has pledged to prevent any breach of the western front by the PYD.
Turkey recently concentrated artillery fire in that area to help opposition groups fight Daesh, which authorities said killed at least 200 militants.
Turkey recognizes the PKK, its Syrian affiliate the PYD and the YPG as terrorist groups. But the U.S. lists only the PKK as a terrorist group.