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10:55, 20 March 2018 Tuesday
14:24, 08 March 2018 Thursday

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Turkey's Opposition member questions US support for PKK
Turkey's Opposition member questions US support for PKK

Republican People's Party parliamentary deputy group chairman asks if US really is Turkey's ally

World Bulletin / News Desk

A senior leader of the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) on Thursday called on the U.S. to clarify its position against Turkey.

Speaking to journalists at the parliament, Engin Altay, CHP parliamentary deputy group chairman, said: "The U.S. should take a decision. Is the strategic partner of the U.S. PYD/PKK or Turkey?"

"We should also know it," he added.

Altay called on the Turkish government to clarify its position after the U.S. decision.

The U.S. supports the PYD/YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist organization that has waged a more than 30-year war against Turkey.

More than 1,200 people, including security force personnel and civilians, have lost their lives since the PKK -- listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S., and EU -- resumed its decades-old armed campaign in July 2015.

American support for the terror group has long vexed Ankara as Washington views the PYD/PKK-led SDF as a "reliable partner" in its fight against ISIL and continues to provide it with arms and equipment in the face of strong objections by Turkey.

Slamming the U.S. arming of PYD/PKK terror group, Altay said: "A country's alliance and strategic partnership with us, which gives weapons to PYD/PKK terror group, does not make any sense for us."

Altay urged the government to brief the parliament regarding the Operation Olive Branch in Afrin, nortwestern Syria.  

On Jan. 20, Turkey launched Operation Olive Branch to clear YPG/PKK and ISIL terrorists from Afrin.

According to the Turkish General Staff, the operation aims to establish security and stability along Turkey’s borders and the region as well as to protect Syrians from terrorist oppression and cruelty.

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 only terror targets are being destroyed and that "utmost care" is being taken to avoid harming civilians.


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