Turkey has intelligence communication with Syria: Ankara
Turkish Presidency Spokesperson says there are intelligence channels between Ankara and Damascus that are used periodically.
There are periodic direct contacts between the Turkish intelligence agencies and their Syrian counterparts for the sake of national interests, Turkish presidency spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Monday.
"Currently, there is no political contact with Syria, but as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, our intelligence agencies have periodic contact with their Syrian counterparts to serve our national interests," Kalin told Haberturk.
"It is not easy to convince the Syrian refugees to go back; they have fled from war and suffered greatly," he added, noting that there would be no discussions with Syria in this regard.
The Turkish official claimed that Ankara was making its best efforts to create a "safe zone" in Syria's Afrin, Idlib, Tell Abyad, and Ras Al-Ayn.
"We all know that these people must eventually return. But we want to do this without causing humanitarian tragedy," he said.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced on May 23 that the Turkish army intends to carry out military operations to "combat terrorism" at the Turkish state borders, explaining that his government "will start taking new steps to complete the safe zone 30 km north of Syria."
On June 14, Turkish media reported that Ankara's troops have taken combat formation and are all set to start Turkey's fifth military operation on the northern Syrian border, which it claims is aimed at the Kurdistan Workers' Party and its military wing, the YPG.
In light of reports over an operation in northern Syria, the Syrian People's Assembly stressed Damascus' "right to use all means to confront the occupation and its terrorist mercenary tools."