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Erdogan: Ground operation in Syria's Afrin begins

Erdogan: Ground operation in Syria's Afrin begins
Operation in Syria's Manbij to come next, Turkish president says

By Satuk Bugra Kutlugun

ANKARA (AA) - A ground operation in Syria's Afrin has "actively" begun, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

Addressing the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's sixth annual provincial congress in western city of Kutahya, Erdogan said an operation in Manbij in Syria will come after Afrin because "promises made to Turkey have not been kept."

The president made it clear that just changing names of terror groups would not satisfy Turkey.

"The PKK, YPG, PYD are all the same; changing names does not change the fact that they are terror organizations," he said.

"They are playing games in Syria in their own way, by changing the terror organization's name.

"Who are you kidding? This same organization's name is PKK, PYD, YPG."

He criticized the United States for working with the PKK, an organization which is in the terrorist list of the U.S. and the European Union.

"They know it really well. They are trying their best to deceive Turkey and the world," he added.

Turkish military units are already deployed in Afrin, a district of Aleppo near the Turkish-Syria border, which is under siege by the PYD/PKK terrorist organization.

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.

More than 1,200 security personnel have been martyred since July 2015 when the group resumed its armed campaign against the Turkish state following a fragile cease-fire.

source: News Feed
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