By Adham Kako and Muhammed Misto
AZAZ / ANKARA (AA) – The Kurdish fighters of the Free Syrian Army say they are defending their own land against the PYD/PKK terrorist organization, vowing to free Afrin from their occupation.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency in the northwestern Syrian town of Azaz, Abu Fayad, one of the Kurdish fighters, who vigorously make the case that the PYD/PKK can never represent the Kurds living in the region, said they were Kurds speaking Kurdish and had nothing to do with the PKK.
"We’ve been defending our villages, our land for a long time. What do they [the PKK] want from us? They are terrorists whereas we are a free army," Fayad said.
“The PKK has no religion and they came from some place far away. In order to do what? Of course, to steal our land. So what kind of relationship can we possibly have with them? We won’t let them get anywhere near us,” Abu Fayad said.
He stressed that Turkey was a Muslim country that would never harm them.
“If our people here think that Turkey would harm them, they are wrong. Turkey wants our well-being. They won’t harm us,” he said.
As regards the recent situation in Afrin, where the Free Syrian Army and the Turkish Armed Forces have launched Operation Olive Branch, Abu Fayad reiterated:
“Turkey has our best interests at heart in this region, and it is hand in hand with us, working with us. God bless the people and government of Turkey,” Abu Fayad added.
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.