200 ISIL members detained, more than 300 killed, during military incursion into Syria: Defense minister
“Turkish armed forces are the sole coalition army that came to close quarters. It is our primary duty to neutralize them whenever and wherever we see them,” he said.
Turkey has an indestructible bond with the United States, Akar said and added: “We hope that with this operation, we will bring peace to the region with the vision of President [Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan. Our alliance with the U.S. will continue intact”.
Turkey on Oct. 9 launched Operation Peace Spring to eliminate the YPG from northern Syria and secure Turkey’s borders. Officials have also said the operation would open the way for the safe return of Syrian refugees and ensure Syria’s territorial integrity. On Oct. 17, Turkey agreed to pause the operation for 120 hours to allow the withdrawal of YPG from the planned safe zone.
“As long as the YPG/PKK is active in Syria, neither that country nor the region can reach permanent peace, security, and stability,” he stated.
“The YPG/PKK can in no way represent our Kurdish and Syrian brothers and friends, just as Daesh does not and cannot represent Muslims,” Akar said, using the Arabic acronym of the ISIL group.
“Our goals are to protect our borders, prevent a terror corridor in northern Syria, put an end to the presence of YPG/PKK, Daesh and all other terrorists in the north of Syria, and to establish a safe zone so as to enable 2 million displaced Syrians, including Arabs, Kurds, Christians, Ezidis, and Chaldeans, to voluntarily and peacefully return to their lands and homes,” he added.
“In the meantime, regrettably and deplorably, the YPG/PKK received substantial material support from our allies. Each weapon handed over to the YPG/PKK ended up in the hands of the PKK ready to be turned on Turkey - a fellow NATO member,” Akar said.