Ibrahim Kalin, the presidential spokesperson, tells Al Jazeera that Ankara will goal the PKK, YPG and PYD Kurdish teams to guard its borders.
The spokesperson for the Turkish presidency has instructed Al Jazeera that Kurdish armed teams in Syria are “legit targets”, and accused them of exploiting ties with the US to justify their presence alongside Turkey’s border with Syria.
In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ibrahim Kalin mentioned Ankara is after the Kurdistan Staff’ Celebration (PKK) and its offshoots the Kurdish Individuals’s Safety Items (YPG) and Democratic Union Celebration (PYD) teams to guard its borders.
Ankara has blamed the outlawed PKK, YPG and their affiliated teams for the November 13 Istanbul blast in addition to earlier assaults. The PKK has been waging a decades-long bloody armed riot for autonomy in Turkey’s southeast. Ankara, together with its NATO allies – the US and European Union – have declared the PKK a “terrorist” organisation.
“For us, any and all PKK, PYD, YPG institutions, parts, posts, navy factors are legit targets for us,” Kalin mentioned through the interview with the Speak to Al Jazeera programme, whether or not they’re in Syria or Turkey.
“They’re legit targets as a result of they’re terrorist organisations,” he continued. “We go after them to guard our borders. We don’t goal Russian or American troopers or navy posts in Syria or anyplace else.”
Kalin went on to say that the PKK, PYD, and YPG “parts” have prior to now used American and the Syrian regime flags to “shield themselves”.
“That itself reveals the extent of the PYD and YPG utilizing their alliance with the US to legitimise their very own presence in northern Syria,” he mentioned.
The presidential spokesperson mentioned that the latest “terrorist” attack on Istiklal Avenue in Istanbul prompted Turkey to reply. The perpetrator, a Syrian girl of Kurdish descent, was trained by Kurdish fighters there, the federal government mentioned.
“Our preliminary response was to coordinate and conduct numerous air operations,” Kalin mentioned. “And naturally, relying on the menace stage as assessed by our intelligence and our air defence ministry and the associated businesses, we are going to go after these terrorists, whether or not from the air or from the bottom.”
Turkey has ramped up its shelling and air raids on northern Syria in latest weeks and has been getting ready a floor invasion towards the YPG, a majority-Kurdish power that dominates the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) primarily based in Syria. Ankara has reportedly focused a number of navy websites belonging to SDF in Syria’s Raqqa.
Belghan Ozturk, a safety analyst, mentioned that the Istanbul bombing assault was “a crimson line for Turkey’s state stability and nationwide safety”.
“So the YPG carried out rocket assaults in retaliation of the Turkish air raids,” Ozturk mentioned from Denver, Colorado. “Turkey desires to verify the YPG was in no capability to undertake additional assaults – inside Turkey and cross border rocket assaults.”
On Friday, SDF, which controls territory in northern Syria, mentioned it might no longer participate in joint counterterrorism operations with the US and different allies within the wake of the Turkish assaults. The SDF says it has documented about 70 assaults for the reason that operation was introduced.
A spokesperson for the SDF mentioned that “all coordination and joint counterterrorism operations” with the US-led coalition battling remnants of ISIL (ISIS) in Syria in addition to “all of the joint particular operations we had been finishing up recurrently” had been halted.