Updated 08:38 PM EDT, Sat, Sep 26, 2020

Turkey-Russian Feud Worsens As the Middle Eastern Country Refuses to Grant US Proposal to Close the Syrian Border

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Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu refuses to concede to proposals made by the United States to close its border with Syria.

Hurriyet Daily News reported that U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has been pressuring Turkey's government to deploy thousands of additional troops along its border to cordon off a 98-kilometer frontier. U.S. officials said that these areas are being used by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), also called as Daesh, to transport foreign fighters in and out of the war zone.

"Keeping the entire border with Syria [closed] may come on the agenda as a project but then what will you do about transiting refugees? We have a moral responsibility along this 911-kilometer-long border and it is accepting refugees. We have a strategic responsibility and it is ensuring security of the border. Not having terrorists transition and any negative developments on the Turkey-Syria border are in Turkey's interest. We have paid the highest price for Daesh's terrorist activities," Davutoğlu said on Dec. 3 in response to a query about border security, as reported by Hurriyet Daily News.

He continued, "There is nothing more difficult than protecting a border on the other side of which there is no political authority. There is no functioning state system or counterpart administration on the other side."

According to the Turkish leader, around 98 kilometers of the country's border is being controlled by Daesh, the news outlet added. Turkey's government has been putting up barriers and control is being maintained through signal systems to drive away the extremist group.

Davutoğlu also blamed Russia's operations in Syria as one of the reasons why the militant group is hard to remove from Turkey's border, Hurriyet Daily News wrote. Tensions between Russia and Turkey came about since operations against ISIL are carried out.

In his speech in Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said it was unnecessary for Turkey to shoot down a Russian Sukhoi Su-24 warplane on Nov. 24. Ankara, Turkey's capital, accused Moscow of violating its airspace but Russian officials claimed that the plane was over Syria, the New York Times wrote.

In the midst of his speech calling for an international coalition to fight terrorism, Putin said that Turkey is deprived of "sense and reason," the New York Times reported. The Russian leader said that his country's rejoinder to Turkey's attack would be careful and devoid of military threats, but it would affect tourism and the limited economic authorizations on agricultural products, and will cancel labor contracts as well.

Davutoğlu, on the other hand, accused Russia of practicing a rough, "Soviet-style propaganda," the news outlet noted.

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