Turkey will not allow Syrian town of Azaz to fall to Kurdish militia - PM


  • World
  • Monday, 15 Feb 2016

KIEV (Reuters) - Turkey will not allow Azaz in northern Syria to fall to the Kurdish YPG militia and the group will face the "harshest reaction" if it tries to approach the town again, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Monday.

Speaking to reporters on his plane en route to Ukraine, Davutoglu said YPG fighters would have seized control of Azaz and the town of Tal Rifaat further south had it not been for Turkish artillery shelling them over the weekend.

"YPG elements were forced away from around Azaz. If they approach again they will see the harshest reaction. We will not allow Azaz to fall," Davutoglu said.

He said Turkey would make the Syrian Menagh air base "unusable" if the YPG does not withdraw from the area, which it seized from Syrian rebels. He warned the YPG not to move east of its Afrin region or west of the Euphrates River.

(Reporting by Ercan Gurses; Writing by Daren Butler; Editing by Nick Tattersall)

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