By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday slammed a U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton's recent claim that Turkey “targets Kurds” in Syria.
"It is impossible to accept the message given by Mr. Bolton in Israel," Erdogan told ruling Justice and Development [AK] Party's parliamentary group.
"Claims that Turkey targets Kurds in Syria is dishonorable, ugly, vulgar and defaming," Erdogan said.
On Sunday, Bolton had said the U.S. will not withdraw troops from northeastern Syria until the Turkish government guarantees it won’t attack “Kurdish fighters,” referring to YPG/PKK terrorist group.
In its 30-year terrorist campaign, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives. The PKK/YPG is its Syrian branch.
Turkey has said it is planning a counter-terrorist operation into Syria targeting the PKK/YPG, following two successful operations since 2016.
Also rebuffing Bolton's remarks, Turkish presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin on Sunday dubbed Bolton’s claims as “irrational,” as the country is fighting Daesh and PKK/PYD/YPG terrorists.
Erdogan said Turkey is determined to eliminate "terror corridor" in northern Syria, adding that Turkey made no distinction between terrorist groups.
"For Turkey, there is no difference between PKK, YPG, PYD or Daesh," the president said.
He said Turkey's preparations to eradicate Daesh in Syria's north "together with other terrorist organizations are underway."
"Very soon we will act to neutralize terrorist groups in Syria. And we will take out other terror groups that might try to prevent us from doing this," Erdogan added.
He said Turkey has always respected his allies, adding that his country expects the same attitude from its allies.