By S. Ahmet Aytac
ISTANBUL (AA) - Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim on Friday said Turkey will not "overlook" cross-border rockets fired by PYD/PKK from Syria.
Speaking at a meeting organized by Beyoglu Municipality in Istanbul, Yildirim said Turkey fought hard against Daesh in the 2,000-kilometer (1,242 miles) area during the Operation Euphrates Shield.
The operation began in August 2016 and ended in late March 2017 to improve security, support coalition forces and eliminate the terror threat along the Turkish border.
The prime minister touched upon recent rocket attacks fired from Syria by the PYD/PKK terror organization and implied any attacks against Turkey will be responded.
"In [southern] Hatay, Kilis [provinces], rockets are falling, bombs are being fired; constant harassment. What will we do now, will we overlook this?" said Yildirim.
Since the start of Operation Olive Branch, Turkey's Hatay and Kilis provinces have been under deadly rocket attacks from the Syrian side. Turkish army retaliates in line with engagement rules.
In his remarks, Yildirim also criticized the U.S. for its arming the terror group.
“A big country like the U.S. has a huge army and potential, does it need terrorist organizations [for its operations in the region]?” the premier questioned.
He recalled the announcement by the U.S.-led international coalition against Daesh of establishing a 30,000-strong new border security force with the SDF/PKK -- a group largely controlled and manned by the PYD/PKK terrorist organization.
“This is clear hostility. Turkey will not allow this no matter who is behind it, regardless of its power and whatever the name it may have,” Yildirim said. “No new entity on Turkey's southern border is acceptable.”
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 is 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 for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
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.