By Muslum Etgu and Esber Ayaydin
SANLIURFA, Turkey – A memorial service was held Friday for a baby and adult victim Thursday’s YPG/PKK attack in southeastern Turkey.
Nine-month-old Mohammed Omar and civil servant Cihan Gunes were martyred when YPG/PKK terrorists carried out cross-border bomb attacks from Syria, targeting Turkey’s border provinces Sanliurfa and Mardin.
Addressing the funeral ceremony held at the provincial governorate, Sanliurfa Governor Abdullah Erin said: “Whatever is the name, the PKK, PYD, YPG or any other terror gorup, we will not allow any of them to threaten Turkey’s borders, integrity, and independence.”
Mohammed Hani, father of the late baby, said his family fled the civil war in Syria six years ago and came Turkey.
“Our house in Akcakale district [of Sanliurfa] was hit by YPG/PKK terrorist attack and unfortunately I lost my child,” the father said in grief.
He also said two children of him was wounded Thursday’s attack.
"I hate the YPG/PKK terrorist organization,” said Hani.
The attack came after Turkey launched Wednesday Operation Peace Spring east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria to secure its borders by eliminating terrorist elements and to ensure the safe return of Syrian refugees and Syria’s territorial integrity.
- Operation Peace Spring
Turkey has said the terrorist group PKK and its extension the YPG/PYD constitute the biggest threat to Syria’s future, jeopardizing the country’s territorial integrity and unitary structure.
Ankara has also stressed that supporting terrorists, under the pretext of fighting Daesh is unacceptable.
Turkey has a 911-kilometer (566-miles) border with Syria and it has long decried the threat from terrorists east of the Euphrates River and the formation of a “terrorist corridor” there.
Turkey plans to resettle two million Syrians in a 30-km-wide (19-miles) proposed safe zone in Syria, stretching from the Euphrates River to the Iraqi border, including Manbij. However, the presence of terror groups such as the PKK, PYD, and YPG risk its formation.
Turkey has freed an area of 4,000 square km (1,544 square miles) in Syria from terrorist groups in two separate cross-border operations.
Since 2016, Turkey has conducted two major military operations in northwestern Syria -- Operation Euphrates Shield and Olive Branch -- to eradicate threats from the Daesh and the YPG, which is the Syrian branch of the terrorist group PKK.
The two operations were in line with the country’s right to self-defense borne out of international law, UN Security Council resolutions, especially no. 1624 (2005), 2170 (2014) and 2178 (2014), and under the right to self-defense under Article 51 of the UN Charter, while being respectful of Syria’s territorial integrity. During Operation Euphrates Shield, Turkish forces neutralized 3,060 Daesh terrorists.
Turkey has suffered greatly from Daesh attacks inside the country.
More than 300 people have been killed in attacks claimed by Daesh in Turkey, where the terrorist group has targeted civilians in suicide bombings and armed attacks in recent years.
In its more than 30-year terror of campaign against Turkey, the PKK – listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU -- has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women, children, and infants.
*Writing by Havva Kara Aydin