Türkiye is only in Syria to fight terrorists and wants to create a safe environment for the Syrian people, National Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Wednesday.
“As we have always maintained, we respect Syria’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” Akar said after talks in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu, Iran’s Mohammad Reza Gharaei Ashtiani, and Syria’s Ali Mahmoud Abbas.
The meeting was also attended by the intelligence chiefs of all four countries.
“The only reason we are in Syria is to fight terrorists, particularly the PKK/YPG/PYD and Daesh/ISIS. We will continue our efforts to neutralize all terrorists, which is important not just for us, but also for the territorial integrity of Syria,” Akar told reporters at the Vnukovo International Airport.
Another of Ankara’s aims is to prevent a new wave of refugees from Syria, he added.
“With our efforts, we are providing as positive and stable an environment in Syria as possible. By improving conditions there, we will ensure that the Syrian brothers and sisters we are hosting in our country can return to their homeland voluntarily in a safe and respectful manner,” he said.
Türkiye will never take a step that puts Syrians in danger, he emphasized.