Turkey calls on US to end support of YPG in Northern Syria
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar called on international community, particularly on the United States to end support of the Kurdish militants in Syria.
"Everyone should understand this. We’re telling to all our interlocutors, especially the US that the PKK equals to the YPG, and we insistently demand that their all sort of support of these terrorists should be stopped,” Akar said during a parliamentary speech on Tuesday.
“Regardless of their names or whoever supports them, we are determined to dry the source of the terror swamp that has plagued our country for 40 years and save our country and the nation from this scourge,” Akar said, state-run Anadolu news agency reported.
Turkish military forces at the weekend have launched an aerial campaign into Northern Syria and Northern Iraq, targeting the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its Syrian affiliate Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG), in response to a deadly bomb attack in Istanbul last week.
Turkish Defense Ministry on Monday announced that 184 “terrorists” have been “neutralized” during the operations. Ankara held responsible the PKK and the YPG over the explosion of Nov.13, has killed six and wounded 81 people in Istanbul’s Taksim district. The two denied involvement.
“There’s an ongoing dark propaganda claiming that Turkey’s fight against terrorism targets Kurds. This is a lie, this is slander. These are the futile efforts of those trying to create an artificial agenda,” Akar said.
“Our operations are carried out within the scope of the right of self-defense and in accordance with the international law, respecting the territorial integrity and sovereign rights of the neighboring countries, and targeting only terrorist structures,” he said.
“Our only target is the terrorists," Akar said.
The PKK is an outlawed armed group in Turkey, fighting an insurgency on Turkish soil for almost four decades and designated as a terrorist organization by the United States and the European Union. The YPG that Turkey sees as an offshoot of the PKK is allied with the West in a fight against the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria, forming the backbone of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).