By Muslum Etgu
SANLIURFA, Turkey (AA) - A group representing Syria’s ethnic Turkmen and Arabs have praised Turkey's ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Afrin.
In a statement on Wednesday, the Ethnic Syrian Turkmen and Arab Tribes Union said: "Similar to us, our Kurdish brothers have had enough of the pressure from terror group PYD/PKK and want to live in freedom at last."
The union said it had no issues with Syrian Kurds who fled to other countries and urged them to return home.
Underscoring that Turkmen and Arabs have lived like brothers with the Kurds, the Union also said they wanted to continue living together.
"There is no separation between Kurds, Turks and Arabs. We are brothers, sisters, no one should create rift between us.
“Our Kurdish brothers, sisters have had enough of the pressure from terrorist PYD/PKK and want to live in freedom at last.
“Our Kurdish brothers, sisters who had to flee their country should return to their lands and live freely," it said.
Terror groups PYD/PKK and Daesh are the common enemy of Syria's Kurds, Turkmens and Arabs, the statement said.
"We want to live with the Kurds fraternally on the same land, hopefully, once the Operation Olive Branch started by Turkey clears the region from terror group PYD/PKK."
On Saturday, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to remove PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin, northwestern Syria, on Turkey’s border.
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 is being carried out under the framework of Turkey’s rights based on international law, UN Security Council resolutions, and its right to self-defense under the UN charter and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said "utmost importance" is being placed on not harming 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.