Presidential aide: Afrin op 'major blow' to terrorists

Ibrahim Kalin says liberation of Afrin city center should be celebrated as “major win” in anti-terror fight

Presidential aide: Afrin op 'major blow' to terrorists

World Bulletin / News Desk

Turkey’s presidential spokesman described the Turkish-led Operation Olive Branch in Syria’s Afrin region as “a major blow to terrorists” in northern Syria, calling on everyone -- who takes a clear stance against terrorism -- to support it.

Writing for Istanbul-based Daily Sabah, Ibrahim Kalin said that Operation Olive Branch, which was launched on Jan. 20 by the Turkish military and Free Syrian Army (FSA), entered a “critical phase” on March 18, when the Afrin city center was captured.

Noting that the Afrin region was cleared from the PKK terrorist organization's Syrian affiliate PYD/YPG, he said: "This should be celebrated as a major win in the fight against terrorism and welcomed as a positive step to protect Syria's territorial integrity.”

He reiterated Turkey’s stance against the PYD/PKK and YPG/PKK terror groups saying: “It is the PKK's branch in Syria and no different than Daesh as a terrorist organization."

The fight against the PKK is never a fight against Kurds, just as the fight against Daesh is not a fight against Arabs or Muslims, Kalin stressed.

“Supporting the YPG in the name of fighting Daesh in Syria is a great disservice and injustice to Kurds. It also puts Turkey and the United States, two NATO allies, at loggerheads over a key regional issue. Instead of questioning Ankara for giving an effective fight against Daesh and the YPG, so-called experts should reject the logic of partnering with a terrorist organization against a NATO ally.”

In his article, Kalin reminded that civilian casualties were avoided and towns and cities were not destroyed during the Afrin operation, which he called as “swift” and “successful.”

“There is no humanitarian crisis and civilians are returning to their homes. PKK supporters masquerading as experts should take the trouble to look at the pictures before and after the Mosul and Raqqa operations and compare and contrast them with those of Afrin. They should be thanking Turkey and hail Operation Euphrates Shield and Operation Olive Branch as models in the fight against terrorism. Their lamentations of Turkey's victory is a lamentation for the YPG's, and by extension the PKK's, loss.”

He termed the claims that Afrin’s demographic structure will be changed following the Turkish-led Afrin operation as an “outright YPG lie.”

“Turkey has never been involved in the business of demographic change. […] As a matter of fact, it was the PYD and YPG that forced demographic change in Tel Abyad, Kobani and other Arab towns in Syria, which Amnesty International reported as a possible war crime.”

The Afrin operation also proved wrong the claim that the FSA cannot give a good fight, which has been circulated as a tactical lie to justify the PKK in Syria, Kalin said.

“In both Jarablus and Afrin as well as other places before they were left in the cold by the U.S. several years ago, the FSA has shown its capability to fight with discipline and success against Daesh and YPG terrorists when they are properly supported.

“The claim that the YPG is the only effective ground force against Daesh and should therefore be supported by all means is like putting the cart before the horse," Kalin added.

“Any force that receives the kind of support given to the YPG has would be the most effective fighting force against Daesh and other security threats,” the presidential aide noted.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Mart 2018, 16:28