By Ilkay Guder and Aynur Ekiz
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey’s Presidential Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said Tuesday that no one can stand against the clearing of Syria of terrorist organizations.
Speaking during a live television broadcast about Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s northern city of Afrin, Kalin said the military campaign was launched to secure Turkey’s borders and its citizens from terror threats.
"When it becomes an issue of our national security, Turkey fulfills the responsibilities [through] its own capabilities. It is our responsibility to save Turkish citizens and its borders. For this, we don’t need permission from anyone.
"The PKK or another terrorist organization can never come to a position to determine the destiny of Kurdish people in this area. Neither the Kurds nor the Turks nor the knowledge, history and conscience of these Anatolian lands permits this.
“Who can oppose the argument that the Syrian territory should be cleared of all terrorist elements? If someone opposes this, that means they have some other plan. In such a case, we will sit down and make a new assessment over that plan,” Kalin said.
He reiterated Turkey’s call on the U.S. administration to cut support to the PYD/PKK terrorist organization in Syria.
“Our expectation [of the U.S.] is actually very basic, simple, clear and concrete: to end [its] support of the YPG and PYD. When this is accomplished, then we will say this is [the guarantee] from the U.S. for us. Then let's talk about the current situation and future of Syria as well as the interests of the Syrian people."
"Our expectation from the U.S. administration is to completely cut their support to YPG and PYD. This is a solid guarantee. This is also a necessary step [to be] taken on the ground."
He said the Daesh threat in Syria has been eliminated, so there is no need for the U.S. to continue to support the PYD/PKK terrorist group.
Turkey on Saturday launched Operation Olive Branch to remove the PYD/PKK and Daesh terrorists from Afrin.
According to the Turkish General Staff, the ongoing operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians 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, its self-defense rights under the UN Charter, and respect for Syria's territorial integrity, it said.
The military also said the "utmost importance" is being put on not harming civilians.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012 when the regime of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.