Turkish PM vows not to allow fall of Azaz in Syria

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Ankara, Feb 15 (IANS) Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Monday said Turkey will not allow the fall of Azaz town of Syria’s Aleppo province to the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD).

“We will not allow the fall of Azaz. This must be clear to all in the world,” Xinhua quoted Davutoglu as saying.

Azaz, in northern Syria near the Turkish border, is seen as a critical corridor that connects with bordering Turkey.

“For the moment, YPG elements have been driven out from Azaz’s surroundings,” Davutoglu said.

He vowed to give a “severe response” if the military wing of the PYD tried to approach the Syrian town.

The PYD is the Syrian affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which is listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the US and the European Union.

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Turkish officials have repeatedly said they will not allow the Kurds in Syria to expand more near the Turkish border.

The latest escalation also came as talk about a ground intervention by Saudi and Turkish troops in Syria made headlines in recent days.

Observers say such an intervention will spark even more chaos in the war-torn country.

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem said any foreign troops entering Syria without the consent of the government “will be sent home in wooden coffins.”

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