Middle East

Kurds 'suffer the most' due to YPG/PKK terror in Syria

Syrian journalist Omar Madaniah backs Turkey's ongoing operation in Afrin region

Kurds 'suffer the most' due to YPG/PKK terror in Syria Journalist Omar Madaniah

HATAY, Turkey 

Kurds have suffered the most due to the presence of YPG/PKK terror group in Syria, according to a Syrian journalist living in Turkey.

Journalist Omar Madaniah has been living in Reyhanli district of Turkey’s southern province of Hatay bordering Syria after he fled the war in northwestern Syrian port city of Latakia three years ago.

Madaniah, who is also an activist, has been monitoring closely the ongoing Turkish-led operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin region.

He hailed the Turkey-led operation and said the aim of the YPG/PKK terror group was to target Syria and Turkish soil.

“Operation Olive Branch is an operation initiated just in time,” Madaniah, who lost a foot during an Assad regime attack, told Anadolu Agency.

“The [YPG/PKK] organization is also persecuting the Kurdish people. They supposedly represent the Kurdish people but the Kurds are the ones who have suffered the most due to the YPG/PKK,” he said.

“The aim of the [Turkey-led] operation is to liberate occupied regions where Kurds and Arabs used to live and to provide them a chance to return home. Syrians know this very well.”

Madaniah hoped the operation would also cover Tal Rifat and Manbij regions.

The Syrian journalist also acknowledged that some media outlets close to the YPG/PKK terror group were trying to mislead people about the ongoing Operation Olive Branch in the region.

“Media outlets close to the organization [YPG/PKK] show Assad regime’s massacres of civilians as if they have been carried out by Turkish soldiers in Afrin.

Misleading public

“They are trying to mislead the public in this way,” he said.

“There is no need to be surprised by this at all.”

He also rejected the assertion that the Turkey-led operation was hitting civilians in Syria's Afrin, saying, on the contrary, terror groups were targeting civilians in the Turkish provinces of Hatay and Kilis.

“I am living in Reyhanli [district of Hatay]. YPG/PKK targeted civilians here, in Reyhanli. They also targeted a mosque in [southern Turkish province of] Kilis. They killed people praying in the mosque. I’ve witnessed all of them. Those killed here were all locals," he said.

At least 2,777 YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists have been "neutralized" since the beginning of Operation Olive Branch in Syria, according to the military on Monday.

Turkish authorities often use the word "neutralized" in their statements to imply the terrorists in question either surrendered or were killed or captured.

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey's rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.

The military also said only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.

Reporting by Erdal Turkoglu:Writing by Nilay Kar

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