Turkey needs ‘full control’ over Aleppo – Turkish presidential advisor

QAMISHLI, Syria (North Press) – In a televised interview, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief advisor, Yasin Aktay, demanded that Turkey take “full control” over Syria’s second largest city in order to resettle half a million Syrian refugees.

“The only solution scenario in Syria is to give Turkey control over Aleppo, or rather, for Aleppo to be under the Syrian opposition’s control,” Aktay said, referring to the Turkish-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).

“If the situation in Aleppo is improved, if Turkey comes to an agreement with the Syrian regime – which I think Turkey should demand – Aleppo should be placed under Turkish control,” SOHR quotes the senior advisor as saying.

After Turkish, Syrian, and Russian defense ministers and intelligence officials held a tripartite meeting in Moscow in late 2022, the three countries’ foreign ministers are set to meet later this month, according to Turkish officials. 

This would mark the highest level meeting between Syria and Turkey since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war.

Aleppo is home to around two million people. Most of the city has been controlled by Damascus since 2016, when Syrian government forces and opposition factions fought a bloody battle over the city.

The Kurdish-majority Sheikh Maqsoud and Ashrafiyah neighborhoods in Aleppo have been semi-autonomous and self-governing since 2012. They have provided a safe haven for tens of thousands of IDPs displaced by war and Turkey’s invasion of the Afrin region in 2018.

Reporting by Sasha Hoffman