-‘Our operation is against a terrorist group,’ the PYD/PKK, near Turkey’s border, says Turkish ambassador to Spain
Kurds are not the target of Turkey’s ongoing counter-terrorist operation in Afrin, Syria, Turkey’s ambassador to Spain said Sunday.
“I should clearly express that the operation is not against the Kurds,” Omer Onhon told Spanish daily La Razon in an interview on Turkey’s Syria operation.
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove terrorist groups, including the PYD/PKK and Daesh, from northwestern Syria.
“Our operation is against a terror group,” Onhon added, referring to the PYD/PKK, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
The PYD/PKK “displaced the Arabs, Turkmens, and even the Kurds [in Syria]. They don’t represent the Kurds,” Onhon said.
Noting that there are millions of Kurds in Turkey, Ohnon said Turkey has no problems with Kurds, as they are fellow citizens.
“Scores of Kurds who have no sympathy for the YPG were killed, displaced, or remanded” by the PYD/PKK, he said, calling the group a “tyrant in the region.”
Mentioning Turkish and U.S. membership in the global anti-Daesh coalition, Onhon said the operation would not escalate the risk of a dispute between the two.
Relations between the two NATO allies have been strained over U.S. support for the terrorist group PYD/PKK in northern Syria, with the U.S. viewing the group as a “reliable partner” in the fight against Daesh, against strong Turkish objections.