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 Iran to Turkey: We'll react strongly to attack in Syria

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Iran to Turkey: We'll react strongly to attack in Syria  1.8.2012   







 
Iran to Turkey: Syria strike will result in harsh response.
 
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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 newspaper said.

"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 states.

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 and 2008.

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 "terrorists."

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), since 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 militiamen.


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 rebels.

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 expectations.

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.

Copyright ©, respective author or news agency, AFP | Ekurd.net | Agencies 

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