Time for Turkey to Change Syria Policy

Time for Turkey to Change Syria PolicyTime for Turkey to Change Syria Policy

A senior lawmaker said it is time for Turkish officials to change tack in dealing with the Syria conflict.

"After recent developments in Turkey, we should wait to see whether they are more inclined to cooperate on the crisis in Syria," Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chairman of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Al-Alam news network on Monday.

"Fanning the flame of a conflict [in a country] will put its neighbors' security at risk."

Pointing to Iran's position regarding the recent coup attempt in Turkey, Boroujerdi said Turkey's security is of top importance for Tehran and it would never like to see a "lasting crisis" near its borders.

"That's why we condemned the coup in the first moments. We said only the Turkish people should decide about the leadership of their country. We wish our neighbor's wellbeing."

The coup began in Turkey late on July 15, when a faction of the Turkish military declared that it was in control of the country and that the government was no more in charge.

The putsch, however, was gradually suppressed and over 60,000 people in the military, judiciary, civil service and education have so far been sacked, dismissed or detained in the country over allegations of involvement in the coup attempt.

Turkey has also witnessed a series of terrorist attacks in recent years, claimed by the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group, which is mainly active in Iraq and Syria, both neighbors of Turkey.

  UN Syria Role Criticized

Asked to comment on the prospects for the settlement of the conflict in Syria, Boroujerdi said if certain countries stop providing insurgent groups with advanced weapons, he believes the Syrian crisis can be defused "very quicker".

The lawmaker said the military option in Syria should be put aside and dialogue should take its place.

"If we really want the Syrian crisis to be resolved, the first thing is to let the Syrian people decide their own future," he said.

Syria has been the scene of a five-year confrontation between government forces and foreign-backed militants fighting to topple the government, whose casualties are estimated to have reached at least 400,000 lives.

On the role of United Nations in efforts to put an end to the Syrian crisis, Boroujerdi said it is not playing a constructive part.

"Whenever the Syrian Army achieves major gains in its battle against militants, UN officials make calls for a political solution," he said, adding that the world body can help prevent the transfer of weapons to Syrian militants.

"But they [UN officials] don't want this. They are pursuing a plan developed by the US to advance its interests."

Boroujerdi, who visited Syria last week at the head of a parliamentary delegation, said the anticipated victory of Syrian forces in the key battle of Aleppo would have a huge impact on the future of Syria.

Aleppo has been divided between government forces in the west and militants in the east since 2012.

In recent months, the army has laid siege to most militant-held neighborhoods in Aleppo and aims to fully liberate it from the grip of militants.