US should hand YPG leader over to Ankara: Erdoğan

US should hand YPG leader over to Ankara: Erdoğan

ANKARA-Anadolu Agency
US should hand YPG leader over to Ankara: Erdoğan

YPG/PKK terrorist ringleader Ferhat Abdi Şahin, codenamed Mazloum Kobani, is wanted by Interpol with a red notice, and the U.S. should hand him over to Ankara, Turkey's president said on Oct. 24.

Speaking live on Turkey's state-run broadcaster TRT, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said the country has been harassed by terrorists in northern Syria for eight years.

Erdoğan underlined that some NATO countries armed the YPG/PKK terror group, and that Germany, France and the U.S. met the leaders of the terrorist organization.

"Russia urged Turkey to enter Syria's Ayn al-Arab [Kobani], whereas the U.S. requested the opposite," he said.

He said a Turkish delegation would visit the U.S. on Nov. 13 to discuss recent developments in northern Syria, now-lifted U.S. sanctions on Turkey and bilateral ties.

Turkish defense minister holds talks with US, European counterparts on Syria op
Turkish defense minister holds talks with US, European counterparts on Syria op

Reiterating that Turkey had no issues with Kurdish people, Erdoğan said: "Kurds are our brothers, we do not have problems with them, we fight only terrorists."

Erdoğan said the Operation Peace Spring was named so due to the existence of large numbers of springs to the east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

He reiterated that the international community had been informed on Turkey's anti-terror operation east of the Euphrates River in northern Syria.

He stressed that Turkey could still hit terrorists beyond the safe zone, underlining that the country was acting on an anti-ISIL strategy in Syria.

Erdoğan said that seven members of the Turkish army were martyred amid the clashes in northern Syria, and 95 were wounded, while 96 were martyred from the Syrian National Army with 374 others wounded. He added that 20 civilians were martyred and 187 wounded during the operation.

Expressing his condolences to those who lost their lives and wishing speedy recovery for the wounded, Erdoğan said that solidarity between Turkey, Russia and Iran had prevented "bloodshed" in the the northwestern town of Idlib in Syria.

He said the YPG/PKK terror group's heavy weaponry should be handed over to NATO-member Turkey.

Hailing his country's growing defense industry, Erdoğan said Turkey's nationally-built armed drones provided much "relief" in the anti-terror operation.

He urged the "civilized world" to back Turkey and its operation.

"Turkey needs international support for the settling of refugees," Erdoğan said, adding that Ankara planned to build hospitals and schools in a northern Syria safe-zone -- one of the operation's primary aims -- as well as ensure the voluntary return of refugees to the area.

He slammed the Arab League's stance on Operation Peace Spring, adding that the bloc had not helped Turkey in sheltering millions of Arabs.

"The Arab League was unable to resolve any issue in the Muslim world," he said.

Turkey rejects allies' dialogue with YPG/PKK terrorist

Turkey issued a diplomatic note to protest the United States’ plan to meet with the leader of the YPG, Ferhat Abdi Şahin, also known as Mazloum Kobani, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said on Oct. 25.

He criticized his country’s allies for dealing with a YPG/PKK ringleader who is sought with a red notice.

“Mazloum Kobani is a terrorist. Therefore, it is unacceptable that our allies meet with a terrorist who has a search warrant and a red bulletin. Especially having high-level talks…. Such a thing cannot happen,” the minister told reporters.

“The moment they start legitimating terrorists, one can start holding talks with Baghdadi tomorrow,” he said, referring to the ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

U.S. President Donald Trump earlier voiced his plans to meet Kobani, while a group of American senators, including Republican Lindsey Graham and Democrat Chris Van Hollen, initiated the State Department for providing visa documents for the YPG leader for such a visit.

“Thank you General Mazloum for your kind words and courage. Please extend my warmest regards to the Kurdish people. I look forward to seeing you soon,” Trump earlier tweeted.

On Oct. 25, Fahrettin Altun, Turkish director of communications, criticized U.S. politicians for viewing the YPG/PKK ringleader as if he was a legitimate political figure.

“He is wanted for multiple terror attacks targeting the Turkish security forces, a NATO army, as well as civilians,” Altun said.

Turkish presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın, at a live CNN broadcast, slammed Trump’s attitude towards the terrorist chieftain and said NATO ally Turkey cannot be viewed at the same level with the YPG/PKK terror group that blackmails the West with Daesh -- also known as ISIS -- prisoners.

Following President Erdoğan’s instructions, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül has said Turkey would get in touch with U.S. officials regarding the terrorist’s extradition if he entered the U.S.