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Turkey says Kurdish armed groups in Syria ‘legitimate targets’ | Armed Groups News

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Presidential spokesman Ibrahim Kalin told Al Jazeera that Turkey would target Kurdish groups in the PKK, YPG and PYD to protect its borders.

Turkish president’s spokesperson accuses Al Jazeera of accusing Syrian Kurdish militants of being “legitimate targets” and abusing US ties to justify their presence along the Turkish-Syrian border did.

In an interview with Al Jazeera, Ibrahim Kalin said Ankara was protected by groups of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and its offshoots, the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Democratic Alliance Party (PYD). Stated.

Ankara blamed the outlawed PKK, YPG and its affiliated groups for the Nov. 13 bombing and previous attacks in Istanbul. The PKK has waged a bloody armed insurgency for decades seeking autonomy in southeastern Turkey. Ankara, along with NATO allies the US and the European Union, have declared the PKK a “terrorist” organization.

“For us, every PKK, PYD, YPG facility, element, post, military point is a legitimate target for us,” Kalin said in an interview with the Dialogue Program with Al Jazeera, be it Syria. He said it would be Turkey.

“They are a legitimate target because they are a terrorist organization,” he continued. “We will go after them to protect our borders. We will not target Russian or American soldiers or military posts in Syria or elsewhere.”

Kalin went on to say that “elements” of the PKK, PYD and YPG have used the US and Syrian regime flags in the past to “defend themselves.”

“That in itself shows the extent to which the PYD and YPG are using their alliance with the United States to justify their own presence in northern Syria,” he said.

A presidential spokesman said the recent “terrorist” attacks on Istanbul’s Istiklal Avenue prompted Turkey to respond. The perpetrator, a Kurdish Syrian woman, was trained there by Kurdish fighters, the government said.

“Our first response was to coordinate and conduct a number of air operations,” Karin said. “And of course, we will pursue these terrorists from the air or from the ground, depending on the level of threat assessed by our intelligence, air defense and related agencies.”

Turkey has stepped up artillery and air attacks on northern Syria in recent weeks, preparing a ground offensive against the YPG, the majority Kurdish force that controls the Syrian-based Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). Ankara is reportedly targeting several military installations belonging to his SDF in Raqqa, Syria.

Security analyst Bergan Ozturk said the Istanbul bombing was “a dangerous line for Turkey’s national stability and national security.”

“So the YPG carried out rocket attacks in retaliation for Turkish air raids,” said Ozturk from Denver, Colorado. “Turkey wants to ensure that the YPG is incapable of conducting further attacks, including rocket attacks within and across Turkey.”

The delay may be due to resistance Turkey is facing from several international powers involved in Syria, including Iran, Russia and the United States.

On Friday, the Self-Defense Forces that control territory in northern Syria said it would no longer participate in joint counter-terrorism operations with the United States and other allies following the Turkish strike. The SDF says it has documented about 70 attacks since the operation was announced.

A SDF spokesman said that “all coordination and joint counter-terrorism operations” with the US-led coalition fighting ISIL (ISIS) remnants in Syria and “all joint Special Operations” has been called off.

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