Trying to control Daesh with the terrorist YPG/PKK — which releases Daesh prisoners on U.S. orders — defies reason, Turkey’s interior minister said on Thursday.
“We [Turkey] are fighting against Daesh, while the PYD releases Daesh prisoners on the orders of the U.S. … It defies reason to try to control Daesh with the PKK and the PYD,” Suleyman Soylu told a coast security meeting in Antalya, on the Turkish Mediterranean.
On Oct. 9, Turkey launched Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear the region along its southeastern border of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
“They tell us that Daesh prisoners [in Syria] will be freed. We are the only country that directly fights against Daesh. We neutralized 3,069 Daesh members,” he said.
“There are 500 Daesh and al-Qaeda terrorists in our prisons. We deported 7,500 foreign terrorists who tried to come here from conflict zones within a period of five to six years. Turkey struggled against Daesh like no other country in the world,” he added.
Soylu went on to say that Europe’s claims that Turkey was killing civilians in northern Syria during its Operation Peace Spring was inexplicable.
“The whole of Europe is guided by a terrorist organization,” he added.
“Twenty civilians died in Turkey, including nine-month-old Muhammet and a 11-year-old girl,” said Soylu.
Since 2016, Turkey’s Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch operations in northwestern Syria have liberated the region from YPG/PKK and Daesh terrorists, making it possible for Syrians who fled the violence to return home.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union — has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
*Writing by Busra Nur Bilgic Cakmak
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