Turkey wants a secure strip of territory 10 km deep on the Syrian side of its border, including the town of Azaz, to prevent attempts to “change the demographic structure” of the area and for humanitarian purposes, Deputy Prime Minister Yalçın Akdoğan said.
“There is a game being played with the aim of changing the demographic structure. Turkey should not be part of this game,” Akdoğan said in an interview on the AHaber television station on Wednesday.
“What we want is to create a secure strip, including Azaz, 10 km deep inside Syria and this zone should be free from clashes,” Akdoğan added.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Monday renewed calls for establishing “a kind of no-fly zone with the goal of establishing a protected area for many refugees.” Merkel said the move “would save many people’s lives.”
“Having an area in Syria, where none of the combating parties could carry out attacks by air would be helpful,” she said in a speech to parliament.
Merkel criticized the continued Russian airstrikes in Aleppo province despite a temporary truce agreed in Munich on last week. “The current situation in Syria remains intolerable,” she added. (Source: Syrian Coalition + Agencies)