KILIS, Turkey (AA) - Defiant, a survivor of a deadly terrorist PYD/PKK attack on a mosque in southeastern Turkey said the attacks from across the Syrian border would not make him abandon his hometown.
Mehmet Zeki Karci was one of eight civilians injured by a Jan. 21 rocket attack on the Calik Mosque in the province of Kilis during evening prayers, an attack coming from the terrorist PYD/PKK in Afrin, Syria. Two civilians also died in the attack.
“If we had been afraid, Kilis would have been evacuated so far. We were here the last time Kilis was bombed,” Karci told Anadolu Agency on Sunday, adding that he would stay in Kilis although he has another house in another province.
“If we die, we will die in our country and hometown.”
After being discharged from the hospital, Karci said he wanted to visit the other victims of the attack, but has been unable to leave home due to his recovery.
Expressing support for Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, Karci said: “I support my country’s fight against terrorism. These terrorists would kill all of us if not for Turkey’s fight against terrorism.”
On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.
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.
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 a fight.