By Omer Koparan and Mohamed Misto
AZAZ, Syria (AA) - Residents of Syria's Azaz district on Friday urged Turkey and the Free Syrian Army (FSA) to take action in the nearby city of Afrin with a view to clearing the region of PYD/PKK terrorist elements.
Roughly 1,000 district residents demonstrated against the PYD/PKK presence in Afrin, which is located roughly 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of Azaz.
"The Turkish army and the FSA must act immediately," read a petition collectively endorsed by the demonstrators.
"As long as this gang remains in Afrin, none of us will be safe," it added, in reference to the PYD/PKK.
Demonstrators also accused the terrorist group of committing rights abuses in the Syrian cities of Raqqah and Manbij.
According to the petition, the PYD/PKK "has forced our people to emigrate, betrayed the Kurdish people and murdered Kurdish activists".
Some protesters carried banners reading "Syrian Kurds against the PKK". Others waved FSA flags or waved images of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Turkey is now widely expected to launch a major military operation in Afrin along the lines of last year’s Operation Euphrates Shield, in which the Turkey-backed FSA successfully cleared northern Syria of terrorist elements.
In 2011, Syria's Assad regime handed Afrin over to the PYD/PKK and there are now between 8,000 and 10,000 terrorists in the area, according to information obtained by Anadolu Agency.
The PYD/PKK is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU, and waged a terror campaign against Turkey for more than 30 years, killing nearly 40,000 people.
More than 1,200 security personnel have been martyred since July 2015 alone when the group resumed its armed campaign against the Turkish state following a fragile cease-fire.