“In a press meeting on Sunday the 21st, Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım confirmed contacts with the Syrian Government of Bashar al Assad”
Turkish Daily newspaper Aydınlık’s Chief Editor, İlker Yücel asked Yıldırım the following question:
“As you had pronounced before, the President of the Syrian Arab Republic, Bashar al Assad had declared that terror organizations in Syria aim at the territorial integrity of the country. Al Assad had qualified the YPG and PYD as “national traitors”. Don’t you think that for the success of the Olive Branch Operation there needs to be direct contact between the Turkish and Syrian governments?”
Prime Minister Yıldırım answered the following:
“Considering what we lived in the past 7 years, this is not happening easily. But indirect, low level contacts are continuing. At the point that we arrived now, the Syrian regime is part of the work. We can not ignore this fact.”
Asked about the nature of the Free Syrian Army, Prime Minister Yıldırım answered:
“As with the Operation Euphrates Shield, the Free Syrian Army takes part in Operation Olive Branch under the command of the Turkish Armed Forces. As they know the local conditions better, they provide important support. But it would no be correct to view the FSA as a different army. The FSA consists of volunteers that appeared to fight for their country”.
The Chairman of Vatan Party, Doğu Perinçek had called the Turkish government with the beginning of the Operation Olive Branch to enter into direct contact with the Syrian Government.