By S. Ahmet Aytac
ANKARA (AA) - Nearly 350,000 Kurds from Syria's Afrin have fled to Turkey after oppression from PYD/PKK and Daesh terror groups, Premier Binali Yildirim said on Saturday.
Addressing the ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party's sixth annual provincial congress in northern city of Zonguldak, Yildirim said Turkey will not allow terrorist organizations on its southern borders.
"Afrin operation aims to end the cruelty of these PKK/PYD/YPG and Daesh terror organizations from the region," he said.
"More importantly, it aims to ensure the safety of life and property in the southern provinces of our country.
“Recently new games are being played on our southern border. On the one hand, our supposedly allied countries have made promises to us but then on the other hand they place the PKK, YPG, PYD and Daesh terrorist organizations in the region."
He criticized the United States for working with the PKK, an organization which is in the terrorist list of the U.S. and the European Union.
Earlier on Saturday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that a ground operation in Syria's Afrin, a district of Aleppo near the Turkish-Syria border, which is under siege by the PYD/PKK terrorist organization, had been launched.
Addressing the AK Party's annual provincial congress in western city of Kutahya, Erdogan said an operation in Manbij in Syria will come after Afrin because "promises made to Turkey have not been kept".
The PYD/YPG is the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, which has been designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU.
Since the mid-1980s, the PKK has waged a wide-ranging terror campaign against the Turkish state in which an estimated 40,000 people have been killed.