Erdgoan says ousting Assad reason for Syria incursion

Press TV- President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkish troops are in Syrian territory to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

“We entered [Syria] to end the rule of the tyrant al-Assad who terrorizes with state terror. [We didn’t enter] for any other reason,” Hurriyet daily news quoted Erdogan as saying on Tuesday.

He went on to claim that Ankara has no territorial claims on Syrian soil and is only seeking “justice” in the country. “Why did we enter? We do not have an eye on Syrian soil. The issue is to provide lands to their real owners. That is to say we are there for the establishment of justice.”

He also said that by “his estimation” around 1 million people had been killed in Syria since the conflict broke out. The statement was made as the UN puts the death toll at around 400,000.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan delivers a speech during the Living Human Treasures award ceremony at the Bestepe National Congress and Culture Centre in Ankara on November 3, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

“Where is the United Nations? What is it doing? Is it in Iraq? No. We preached patience but could not endure in the end and had to enter Syria together with the Free Syrian Army [FSA],” he added.

He further went on to accuse the UN Security Council of inaction in Syria, noting that the Council is ineffective in its current state. “The world is bigger than five,” he said in reference to the UNSC’s number of permanent members.

Back in August, Turkey launched an incursion into Syria, claiming that it was meant to engage both Daesh terrorists in the Syrian-Turkish border area and Kurdish forces, who were themselves fighting Daesh. Damascus has on multiple occasions condemned Turkey’s military intervention as a breach of its sovereignty.

Earlier in the day, the Arab League denounced Turkey’s interference in the affairs of Syria, stressing that the Ankara’s support for terrorists has now backfired.

“The issue has to be handed over to the Syrians, opposition and government, excluding of course the terrorist groups,” said Ahmed Aboul Gheit, the secretary general of the League.

Turkish troops go missing in Syria

Meanwhile, the Turkish army has announced that two of its troops have disappeared in northern Syria.

In an official statement released on Tuesday, the military said search parties are currently looking for the troops.

Daesh’s Aamaq News Agency claims to have captured the two soldiers in a village close to al-Bab.

Syria has been hit by foreign-backed militancy since March 2011. This is while Turkey faces accusations of allowing potential militants to use its territory for travel and shipment of weapons into violence-wracked Syria, and buying smuggled oil from militants.