Ex-Syrian Minister Calls on Turkey to Block Borders to Terrorists
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A former Syrian information minister slammed Turkey for its failure to block its borders to stop terrorists from entering Syria, saying that Ankara has made no move showing it has changed its policies on the Arab country.
“From the viewpoint of the Syrian people, changes in the stances of Turkey have been limited to words and Ankara has taken no practical action… that shows it has changed its policies,” Mahdi Dakhlallah said in an interview with the Tasnim News Agency.
For example, it was expected from Turkey to seal its borders to terrorist groups, but up to now it has done nothing in this regard, he said.
The former Syrian minister added, nonetheless, that a change in Turkey’s policies even at the level of words can be a “positive signal”.
Dakhlallah went on to say that a change in the tone of Turkish officials may have its roots in the recent crises facing Turkey.
Turkey has been among the main supporters of the militant groups operating in Syria, with reports saying that Ankara actively trains and arms the Takfiri terrorists there and facilitates their safe passage into the violence-wracked Arab country.
But since a failed coup in Turkey back in July, Ankara has signaled readiness to take steps against terrorism and even mend relations with Damascus, though it has yet to prove its sincerity.
Syria has been gripped by foreign-sponsored militancy since March 2011, with Turkey believed to be among the main supporters of the Takfiri militants fighting the Syrian government.
According to a report by the Syrian Center for Policy Research, the conflict has claimed the lives of over 470,000 people, injured 1.9 million others, and displaced nearly half of the country’s pre-war population of about 23 million within or beyond its borders.