Turkey, Middle East

Syrian opposition ready to support Turkish operation

Turkish operation aims to clear east of Euphrates of YPG/PKK terrorists

Ekip   | 16.12.2018
Syrian opposition ready to support Turkish operation

Ankara

By Esref Musa and Omer Koparan

IDLIB, Syria

The Syrian military opposition has vowed support for a planned Turkish military operation against the YPG/PKK terrorist group east of the Euphrates River.  

Spokesman Ayman al-Asimi said the Syrian opposition was ready to fight against YPG/PKK terrorists who occupy regions east of the Euphrates.  

"The [planned Turkish] military operation east of the Euphrates is a continuation of the Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch Operations, which brought safety and stability to the Syrian people,” he said in a statement on social media.  

“It is an operation that will maintain the integrity of Syria," he stressed.  

Al-Asimi said the YPG/PKK terrorist group was a “source of international terrorist threat” that blocked efforts to reach a political solution to the conflict in Syria.  

He went on to call on the international community to take side with the Syrian opposition and Turkey against the terrorist group.  

On Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that within days Turkey would launch an operation in Syria, east of the Euphrates, near Turkey’s borders, to clear the region of YPG/PKK terrorists.  

That operation would follow two successful Turkish operations since 2016 to foil the formation of a “terror corridor” along Turkey’s border.  

In a message to the Syrian Free Army and National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces (SMDK), U.S. officials have warned the Syrian opposition against backing the Turkish operation.  

"Any participation by the Syrian National Coalition or the Free Syrian Army in any way is an attack on the United States and the Coalition Forces, and it will lead to direct confrontation with Coalition Forces and the United States of America. That will fully destroy the relations between the United States and the Syrian National Coalition and the Free Army," read the message.  

"When elephants dance, you must stay away from the dance floor," the U.S. officials said.  

In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children. The YPG is its Syrian branch.  

*Ali Murat Alhas contributed to this story from Ankara.

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