Turkey has threatened to reopen the path to Europe through its territory for Syrian refugees if it does not receive international support to form a security zone in Northern Syria.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Turkey needed “logistical support” to create a security zone in Syria.
“Either that or we will be forced to open the way for migrants,” he said.
There are 3.6 million Syrians in Turkey who have fled the civil war. The United States supported plan to create a safe zone for them in Syria.
This initiative, in turn, is wary of the Syrian Kurds, as it is planned to move many Syrians from other areas to a safe zone in the North-East of the country.
Kurdish people’s self-defense Units, which Turkey considers as a terrorist organization, do not want to allow Turkish forces into this territory.
The US military supports the Kurds as opposed to the militants of the group “Islamic state,” which has lost control over most territories.
“Our goal is to return at least one million of our Syrian brothers to the safe zone we will form along our border,” Erdogan said in Ankara. “Provide us with logistical support, and we will be able to build places to accommodate people 30 km deep into Syrian territory in the North.”
Turkey wants to organize a joint patrol of the safe zone with the US military. According to Erdogan, it is planned to do this by the end of September.
Turkish authorities also fear that heavy fighting in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib could lead to a new flow of refugees to Turkey.