Syrian Foreign Ministry says Turkey playing destructive role in Syria

Turkish deputy PM defends country from criticism for not joining military campaign against Islamic State, points to 49 Turkish hostages by group as reason.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. (photo credit: REUTERS)
Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Turkish government is playing a destructive role in Syria and continues making false accusations against it, a source in the Syrian Foreign Ministry said.
Turkey’s government continues with its propaganda campaign against Syria, including false allegations about the use of chemical weapons, the source, quoted by the Syrian Arab News Agency – SANA, said on Wednesday.
Ankara’s destructive role is obvious, claimed the source, adding that its northern neighbor is harboring terrorists, training and arming them, and facilitating their entry into Syria.
The source accused Turkey of providing the Syrian opposition with chemical materials and of buying oil from Islamic State.
Meanwhile, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan sought to deflect criticism about the country’s refusal to take part in the US-led coalition against Islamic State, saying the 49 Turkish hostages being held by the terrorist group restricts its actions.
“The issue of hostages is our main sensitivity and priority. That’s why we are so cautious while making statements,” Akdogan told a group of Ankara newspaper heads at a meeting on Wednesday, the Hurrieyet Daily News reported.
The deputy prime minister said that it was due to “irresponsibility” that some were criticizing Ankara over this.
“Turkey could surely say more than it says and could do much more than it is.
But even one of our citizen’s lives is very important to us.
That’s why we are moving in a very cool-headed way in this process,” he said.
Turkey’s decision on whether to participate in the coalition is based on its “national interests, societal sensitivities, and values, and not on what other foreign countries are doing,” said Akdogan, according to Hurriyet.
Ankara made it clear that it would only provide humanitarian aid to refugees and provide non-lethal logistical support to the coalition.
The senior Turkish official denied reports that the country was supporting jihadists.
“An operation to influence perception toward the [AK] Party and Turkey is being carried out. This is a part of psychological operation with the objective of exerting pressure on the AK Party and on Turkey,” he said.