By Sena Guler
Anyone who cares about Syria’s border security and integrity prefers Turkey’s presence in the area rather than the terrorist group YPG/PKK, Turkish foreign minister said on Tuesday.
In an interview with the news channel 24, Mevlut Cavusoglu said YPG/PKK aims to divide the country and tries to establish a terror corridor.
Speaking about the recent reports of an alleged agreement between YPG/PKK terrorist group and Bashar al-Assad regime on Afrin, Cavusoglu said: “It is obvious that they [the regime] did not enter [Afrin] yet, but more terrorists are coming to the region especially from the east.”
He noted the Assad regime was undecided whether it was better for YPG/PKK or Turkey to be there. “YPG wants to divide Syria, he [Assad] knows it. He also says that YPG is a terrorist group.”
Cavusoglu stressed that Kurdish people living in Afrin should be distinguished from YPG/PKK.
“Our Kurdish brothers are really happy that Mehmetcik [Turkish soldiers] entered Afrin and they tell about their persecution by the YPG/PKK.”
He said that Turkey’s aim was to clear those areas from terrorists, return the cities to their owners and let refugees, especially from Turkey, to return.
“What we are doing is important for the unity and integrity of Syria in the future, but it is clear what the YPG/PKK is doing.”
Operation Olive Branch
Cavusoglu noted that if the regime enters Afrin to fight the terrorist group, it does not pose any problem for Turkey. “But if the regime enters there to support and protect YPG/PKK-Daesh, no one can stop the Turkish army.”
Assad regime's state-run news agency SANA reported on Monday that the pro-Assad militia called “Popular Forces” was going to enter Afrin within a few hours.
The terrorist organization YPG/PKK-Daesh is said to have held talks with the Syrian regime after more than 80 different strategic areas were liberated during Turkey's Operation Olive Branch since its launch on Jan 20.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from oppression and cruelty of YPG/PKK-Daesh terrorists.
He also touched on the issue of lack of trust between Turkey and the U.S. and said Turkey expects Washington to take concrete steps. “Our first meeting will be held in the first half of March.”
The foreign minister said they have been facing the issues since the previous U.S. government failed to keep its promises.
Cavusoglu noted that keeping these promises would be followed together by both countries through a mechanism, which is yet to be established.
“There is FETO [Fetullah Terrorist Organization] in the first [working] group… There is only Syria in the second group,” he said.