Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Tuesday that there is no distinction between the terrorist organization PKK and the PYD along with its military arm, the YPG.
Speaking at his party’s parliamentary group meeting, Yildirim said, "The PYD as well as the YPG are the same as the PKK. Just their names are different, but they are all terrorist organizations."
In its current Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkey has rid the Syrian city of Manbij of the Daesh terrorist organization, said Yildirim, but added, "Unfortunately, other terrorist organizations, the PYD and YPG, have filled the vacuum still there."
Yildirim said that PYD and YPG should leave the region according to the pledge the U.S. made to Turkey.
"When required, we would force the PYD and YPG out of Jarabulus, as we have gotten Daesh out of Jarabulus with [help from] members of the Free Syrian Army, from the local community."
On Aug. 24 Turkey began Operation Euphrates Shield with the Free Syrian Army (FSA) in northern Syria aimed at bolstering border security, supporting coalition forces, and eliminating the threat posed by terror organizations, namely Daesh.
The operation is in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international treaties and a mandate given to Turkey’s armed forces by its parliament in 2014, which was extended for another year in September 2015.
- ‘All ethnic groups should live under a unitary Syrian state’
Yildirim stressed that in order to solve the Syria issue, “Our most important preference is that all ethnic groups in Syria live under a unitary state structure in the future as well, as they have been living as brothers for many centuries."
"In their actions and projects, states in the region should not prioritize their own goals but instead the peace of the region and the future of the people living there."
Syria has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests – which erupted as part of the Arab Spring uprisings – with unexpected ferocity.
The Syrian Center for Policy Research, a Beirut-based NGO, has put the death toll from the five-year conflict at more than 470,000.