By Gulsum Incekaya
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkey will target PYD/PKK terrorists in northern Syria and northern Iraq after dislodging the PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG terrorist groups from Afrin city, according to research foundation officials Monday.
Foundation for Political, Economic and Social Research (SETA) Istanbul General Coordinator Fahrettin Altun told Anadolu Agency Turkey will purge terrorist groups from Manbij, Jazira, Ayn al-Arab (Kobane) in northern Syria and from northern Iraq after clearing the PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG from Afrin.
Altun, who is also the dean of the Faculty of Communications at Ibn Haldun University, added: Turkey's ongoing Operation Olive Branch against terrorism in Afrin is in accordance with international agreements and law.
SETA Security Research Director Murat Yesiltas said the U.S. is likely to moderate its policy on Turkey’s Operation Olive Branch.
“But the key process will begin after Afrin. Then the situation will change. Russia was a key country for Afrin. It is clear that there is a reconciliation.
“Iran is the second player but important. As to the PKK, the support of the Iran is a matter of urgency,” Yesiltas said.
Turkey must keep its military presence in the field in terms of national security, territorial integrity, border security, and the future of the Syrians, he added.
On Saturday, 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 Turkish borders and the region as well as to protect the Syrian people from the oppression and cruelty of terrorists.
The operation was 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 said.
The military also said the "utmost importance" was being given to not harm any civilian.
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.