By Ahmet Gurhan Kartal
LONDON (AA) – British defense secretary said Turkey has faced and is still facing a terror threat from the PKK.
Speaking at the NATO parliamentary assembly in London on Monday, Ben Wallace urged Turkey needs to defend itself against this threat.
“Wallace urged Ankara to respect human rights and the treatment of civilians in its onslaught on Syria, but said that Turkey faced a threat from Kurdish guerrilla forces,” a report by the Times said Tuesday.
“Turkey has had, and still does have, a threat emanating towards it from groups such as the PKK, a terrorist organisation in this country as well, and that Turkey needs to do what it sometimes has to do to defend itself,” Walace said.
Wallace’s remarks came after an EU statement that opposes Turkey’s anti-terror operation in northern Syria, with which it aims to create a safe zone free from any terror groups.
“This is a situation we did not want to develop in this way, but it is a situation that has happened and we are trying to make sure that human rights are upheld in that process,” Wallace said.
Turkey last Wednesday launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate terrorists from northern Syria in order to secure Turkey’s borders, aid in the safe return of Syrian refugees, and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity.
Ankara wants to clear northern Syria east of the Euphrates River of the terrorist PKK and its Syrian offshoot, the PYD/YPG.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and the European Union -- has been responsible for the deaths of 40,000 people, including women, children and infants.