By Fatih Hafiz Mehmet
Turkey’s prime minister said Tuesday that terrorist groups cannot protect NATO’s borders, implicitly slamming a recent U.S. decision to form a border protection army in Syria with the terrorist PYD/PKK.
"Is the duty of protecting NATO borders left to terror groups? We can protect our own borders," Binali Yildirim told an awards ceremony in the capital Ankara, explaining that NATO's borders are Turkey's southern borders.
Yildirim said while Turkey is trying to turn the tide in Iraq and Syria, some countries considered friends are collaborating and setting up an army with practitioners of terrorism.
He said “imperialist longing” is drawing up new designs meant to weaken Turkey's decisive power in the region.
Yildirim said Turkey is urging its allies to make their intentions clear and say if they will act in line with NATO responsibilities or keep collaborating with “marauders” who try to harm Turkey both at home and abroad.
"Deciding on this is all-important for us," he added.
Yildirim said Turkey would never make concessions on its right to sovereignty.
Turkey has been a member of NATO for over 65 years.
On Sunday, U.S.-led coalition spokesman Ryan Dillon announced plans to establish a 30,000-strong border security force in Syria with the SDF -- a U.S.-backed group drawn up largely of PYD/PKK terrorist elements.
The PKK/PYD is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state, in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.