By Adham Kako and Muhammed Misto
AZAZ / ANKARA (AA) - A Kurdish commander in the Free Syrian Army said the PKK terrorist organization "does not represent the Kurdish people”.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency in an exclusive interview in the northwestern Syrian town of Azaz, Azad Sabo said the people of Afrin were sick and tired of PYD/PKK’s constant violations and especially its forcible recruitment of young people.
"We are Kurdish people and we are fighters. We have fought against the PKK. They do not represent the Kurdish people. We do not have anything against any ethnic group," Sabo said.
Sabo said he had lived for 12 years in Syria's Afrin, adding that the PKK had tried to cheat the Kurdish people in Afrin when it came to the region in 2011. “However,” he said, “the Kurdish people realized that they were traitors and working for the Assad regime."
“The people of Afrin are looking forward to the day when the region will be freed from the PKK. They are like Daesh; they arrest and jail whoever stands in their way," Sabo said.
"When they intensified their oppression of the people and began to recruit young girls and armed them… that's when the real cruelty of the PKK began to show," he added.
The Kurdish commander also noted that his battalion had managed to drive off the PKK from the Tel Aran region in Syria in 2012.
Regarding the recent situation in Afrin, where the Free Syrian Army and Turkish Armed Forces have launched Operation Olive Branch, Sabo expressed hope:
“We will see better days… We have fought against Assad forces and Daesh before, now we are fighting against the PKK. We started with Afrin, hopefully we will advance as far as Qamishli."
The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) launched Operation Olive Branch on Saturday to remove all PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, establish security and stability along Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists, according to a statement issued the same day.
The military notes that the operation is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council’s decisions, self-defense rights under the UN charter and respect to Syria's territorial integrity.
It is also frequently emphasized that "utmost care" is being shown not to harm any civilians.
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 putting up a fight.