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15:41, 27 October 2016 Thursday

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Erdogan says Sinjar will not be new Qandil for PKK
Erdogan says Sinjar will not be new Qandil for PKK

Turkish president also provides further details on Operation Euphrates Shield

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday that Turkey would not allow Sinjar to be the new Qandil for the PKK, terror organization.

Speaking at a ceremony for relatives of martyrs and army veterans in Ankara, Erdogan said Turkey would not allow a PKK presence in the northern Iraqi region of Sinjar.

"We will go on this [Operation Euphrates Shield] campaign in Syria and Iraq, and now in Kirkuk, Mosul, Tal Afar and Sinjar. Why? Sinjar is about to be the new Qandil [for PKK]. Thus, we cannot allow it to happen in Sinjar, because there is PKK there."

Qandil Mountain has served as a PKK headquarters for the PKK in northern Iraq.

Erdogan proceeded to draw the new route of Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria.

"Now we are on the way to Al-Bab. Because Al-Bab is an important headquarters for [ISIL]. They will leave Al-Bab and the campaign will go on. We will head to Manbij and Raqqa."

Turkey's Operation Euphrates Shield was launched in late August to clear the northern Syrian border area of extremists. It is now in its 65th day.

Operation Euphrates Shield has seen both ISIL and PKK/PYD extremist groups targeted by the opposition Free Syrian Army plus Turkish tanks, artillery and aircraft.

Erdogan said that he had a phone call with the U.S. President Barrack Obama last night and said he had shared these steps with him.

"We don't need PYD-YPG extrem organizations. PYD and PKK are all the same in Raqqa," he said. "We said 'Let's clear ISIL from Raqqa with you. We can deal with it together.' We have this power."

The PKK and its Syrian offshoot the PYD are both listed as extremist groups by Turkey although the U.S. and EU only view the PKK as a extremist organization.

Speaking about July 15 coup attempt, Erdogan said it had shown that the owners of the country were the Turkish people.

"In my opinion, one of the most important messages of July 15 is this: We have been such a country for 200 years that has searched for answers to these questions; 'Who is the owner of this country?' [..]. We found the answers on July 15. The owners of the country are the people," he said.

Erdogan said there would be no pity for those who were involved in or supported, directly or indirectly, the coup attempt.



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