Turkey is determined to continue its fight against terrorism in the region, the country’s vice president said Monday.
"Our fight is to eliminate the terror threat, which has caused trouble to us for many years, at its source, and it will resolutely continue," Fuat Oktay told lawmakers during his budget speech.
Oktay noted that the YPG/PKK did not represent the Kurds.
The terror group “is as dangerous as Daesh," he said.
Otkay said Turkey will provide peace and security on the eastern side of the Euphrates River in Syria.
"We will do it for our brothers of all origins -- Arabic, Kurdish, Ezidi, Chaldeans," he added.
Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring on Oct. 9 to eliminate YPG/PKK terrorists from northern Syria east of the Euphrates River in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Under two separate deals with the U.S. and Russia, Turkey paused the operation to allow the withdrawal of YPG/PKK terrorists from a planned Syrian safe zone.
Ankara wants YPG/PKK terrorists to withdraw from the region so a safe zone can be created to pave the way for the safe return of some 2 million refugees.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of nearly 40,000 people, including women, children and infants. The terrorist YPG is the PKK’s Syrian offshoot.
By Emin Avundukluoglu