By Burak Karacaoglu, Omer Koparan and Muhammet Kursun
AZAZ, Syria (AA) - The Free Syrian Army (FSA) supporting the ongoing Turkish military operation in Afrin seeks to protect the Kurdish people oppressed by PYD/PKK terrorist group in the northwestern Syrian city, according to a FSA commander.
On Jan. 20, the Turkish army launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin. It is noted that Kurds oppressed by PYD/PKK are in the FSA frontlines during the offensive.
"Our motive was never to bomb or kill innocent people,” Isa Kedlo, a Kurdish commander of FSA, said on Saturday. “We are part of the locals and want them not to be manipulated by the [PYD/PKK] black propaganda," he said.
"We will save our Kurdish people who were oppressed by PKK," Kedlo said.
The FSA commander said Operation Olive Branch aims to bring back peace and freedom to the city and return people who were forced out of their homes.
"We will liberate our friends locked in YPG dungeons, and secure our region and then provide stability for our people," he said.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
The operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, its self-defense rights under the UN charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without a fight.