By Muhammet Emin Avundukluoglu
ANKARA (AA) - The leader of Turkey’s opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) on Tuesday called on the U.S. to keep its distance from the PYD/PKK terrorist group.
"The U.S. should immediately question its devastating and dark relations with the terrorist group, and should keep its distance from terror," Devlet Bahceli told his party’s parliamentary group on Tuesday.
Calling on the U.S. to keep the promises it made to Turkey on fighting PYD/PKK terrorists, Bahceli said that Turkey's expectations from the U.S. are "loud and clear."
The U.S. views the PYD/ PKK as a "reliable partner" in its fight against Daesh, against strong objections by Turkey, which has documented how it is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror group.
In its 30-year terrorist campaign against Turkey, the PKK has taken some 40,000 lives, including many women and children.
Referring to the U.S. arming the PYD/PKK and the group’s presence in Manbij, northern Syria, he added: "The bloody weapons in the hand of terrorists should be immediately collected, all terrorists should be removed from Manbij, and the natives of Manbij should be back in their own territories."
"Otherwise, Turkey will do what is necessary, and it will destroy all terror nests."
Following its current operation against PYD/PKK terrorists in Afrin, northwestern Syria, just across the Turkish border, Turkey has said it will proceed to Manbij, to the east.
Washington has voiced concern about the safety of U.S. troops in Manbij amid Turkey's ongoing operation in Afrin. There are about 2,000 American soldiers in Manbij.
Bahceli stressed that no country should underestimate Turkey, saying: "We are a nation which has been irrigating this territory with its blood for 1,000 years. We are the Turkish nation."
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear PKK/PYD/YPG and Daesh terrorists from Afrin in northwestern Syria.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as protect Syrians from terrorist cruelty and oppression.
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, it said.