By Mohamad Misto and Adham Kako
TAL ABYAD, Syria (AA) - The head of the Syrian National Army (SNA) said their fight is not against the Kurdish people, who have already suffered a lot in the hands of terror groups in the country.
“These [terrorist] organizations target civilians. Our fight is not against honorable Kurdish people,” Selim Idris said in an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency.
Idris is defense minister in Syria's Interim Government and head of the Syrian National Army, composed of various Turkey-backed opposition groups.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and the YPG, its Syrian offshoot.
Reiterating that the operation did not target any civilian, he said they were struggling to protect locals from the YPG/PKK terror groups.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the European Union -- has been responsible for deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.
“As Syrian National Army, we consider all Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen, and Muslim and Christian part of the Syrian society and our siblings,” he said.
Referring to the disinformation campaign against Turkey’s anti-terror operation, he said the supporters of the terror group are trying to mislead the public with their propaganda since they have lost the fight on the field.
Since the start of Turkey Operation Peace Spring, many social media accounts are sharing fake images or those pictures that were taken in the past to spread disinformation about the operation east of the Euphrates river.
*Writing by Gozde Bayar