By Safvan Allahverdi
WASHINGTON (AA) - The U.S.-led coalition against Daesh does not recognize Afrin as an operational area, the Commander of U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) on Saturday said.
"We are not paying particular attention to that area with our military resources," General Joseph L. Votel told reporters during his flight in the Middle East.
His remark came after Turkey launched an operation, dubbed as “Operation Olive Branch” in the Afrin region, Syria, which aims to establish security and stability along the Turkish borders and the region as well as to eliminate terrorists and protect the Syrian people from the terrorists’ oppression and cruelty.
Adding that the fight against Daesh still continues in Syria, Votel also claimed that Turkey's operation on Afrin would distract the efforts in this manner.
In addition, Votel said Turkey informed the coalition about its operation plan in Afrin, however, a possible operation to Manbij has not been referred.
Turkey's operation is carried out against the PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorist groups under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions and self-defense right under UN charter.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.