By Burak Karacaoglu, Esref Musa, Levent Tok and Muhammet Kursun
IDLIB, Syria (AA) - The PYD/PKK terror group oppresses Kurdish people and their faith, Kurdish Imam Muhammed Cilo from Syria's northwestern region of Afrin said.
“They are tyrants, there is nothing like them [PYD/PKK]. They are more evil than the devil.
"They did not come to bring peace to Afrin; they have assigned terrorists to devastate our region,” Cilo told Anadolu Agency.
“I am appealing to the people of Afrin, take your children away from them, let them [PYD/PKK] go away. They [PYD/PKK] should go back from where they came,” he added.
He said he had been threatened by the terrorist organization due to his stance against it.
“As I am an imam apart from being a teacher, I wanted to serve my people [in Afrin], but the PKK did not allow me to do that,” Cilo, who teaches Arabic, said.
“They [PYD/PKK] told me that I could practice being an imam if I ‘praised them’ but I said that I would only say what our religion commands us to say and what is the truth,” he added.
Cilo said while he continued to teach religion in Afrin, he often faced difficulties at the hands of the terrorist organization.
"I wanted to be an imam in some villages, but the terrorist organization hindered me in my efforts. The villagers said the PKK [PYD/PKK] prohibits the teaching of Arabic to their daughters,” he said.
The imam said he had to change his location from time to time after the PYD/PKK terror group continued to harass him.
“The PKK [PYD/PKK] attacked the mosque during prayers in the Shaykh al-Hadid village; they went inside with their shoes, sent the children home and tore the pages of the Quran,“ he said.
- PYD/PKK hurts Kurds
Cilo said he was forced to leave the village because of the PYD/PKK and sought refuge in Aleppo.
He said the PYD/PKK had put a $25,000 head money on him.
He recalled the various crimes committed by the PYD/PKK terror group on the Kurdish people of Afrin.
He accused the PYD/PKK of confiscating the material goods of the Kurds, Arabs and Turkmens of the region and spending their money abroad.
“The ones who are dying and are scattered are our poor people,” he said.
"We are the original Kurds, we are the ones who were oppressed by the Assad regime. I am more Kurdish than you [PYD/PKK]; you are not Kurdish.
"We are the ones who suffered the ordeal of these lands and now you [PYD/PKK] want to lay claim to it?” he said.
Cilo said the PYD/PKK had hurt the honor and pride of the Kurds.
“People of Afrin, you are religious and honorable people, do not follow them [PYD/PKK]. [PKK leader] Ocalan and Assad acted together and protected each other,” he said.
The imam added Kurds and Arabs are brothers and urged the people of Afrin to protest against the PYD/PKK terror group.
Cilo said the lands belong to the people of Afrin and not to the "occupiers", PYD/PKK.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK terror group since July 2012 when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.
Turkish military is continuing to eliminate terrorists under the ongoing Operation Olive Branch in Syria's northwestern region of Afrin which started on Saturday.