By Mehmet Tosun
ANKARA (AA) - Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Monday questioned the seriousness of the U.S. in the fight against terrorism and urged it again to drop its support for terror groups.
Speaking at a news conference alongside his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev in capital Ankara, Yildirim said: “The U.S., which we think as our NATO ally and years-long strategic partner, should pull itself together, and come to a proper decision.
“The U.S. should see that fight against a terror group via another one does not comply with a state’s seriousness. It would be nice if the U.S. could see that, if it doesn’t then we will continue to do what is necessary.”
The U.S. has long supported the PYD/PKK terror group as a “reliable ally” in its fight against Daesh, despite strong objections from Ankara, which has documented that the organization is the Syrian branch of the terrorist PKK.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist group by the U.S., EU, and Turkey.
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 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.
The military also said that "utmost care" is being used to avoid harming 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 a fight.